February 27, 2014
A Myanmar refugee group condemns last month’s attempt to assassinate two visiting political leaders
KUALA LUMPUR: A Myanmar refugee organisation has rejected the theory that Muslim activists were responsible in last month’s attempt to assassinate two visiting politicians from that Asean country.
Mohamad Sadek, programme coordinator for the Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee (RARC) in Malaysia, said he knew of no Rohingya (Myanmar Muslim) who was rash enough to carry out the attack and thereby endanger his relatives back home.
Furthermore, he told FMT yesterday, neither his organisation nor any individual Rohingya refugee had the resources or capacity to carry out an assassination mission.
“It would be suicide if we tried to assassinate them,” he said.
“Thank God no one was hurt. Imagine the retaliation in Myanmar if the two top politicians had been killed. Our relatives back home would also be killed, and many more will suffer from the revenge.
“The Rohingya have no capacity to carry out the act. We can’t even afford to buy a gun. The accusation thrown at us is not true.
“We condemn the murder attempt.”
The attempted killing of Aye Maung, a member of parliament from the Rakhine National Development Party, and Aye Thor Aung, chairman of the Arakan League of Democrats, happened on Jalan Alor here. It was widely reported by local and international news organisations.
Many of the reports speculated that communal violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state was spreading to Malaysia. Muslims and Buddhists in the state have been engaged in conflict since 2012.
Asked if he had been informed of the arrival of the two politicians prior to the assassination attempt, Sadek said he had not.
“I had no idea whatsoever,” he said. “I only knew about the shooting a day after it happened.”
Sadek also spoke about Aung Gyi, a Myanmar national who was found dead in the boot of a car a day before the shooting incident.
He said Gyi was a former student activist who was involved in the 1988 uprising in Myanmar and he had befriended him during the pro-democracy struggle in that country.
He said he learnt of Gyi’s death only when a Special Branch police officer contacted him a day after the body was discovered.
“I was very shocked to hear the news,” he added. “I can’t speculate on his death as I do not know if he had any enemies. Also, I can’t say if his death is connected to the shooting in Jalan Alor.”
According to a police source, Aye Maung came to Malaysia to have discussions with Myanmar nationals currently residing in Malaysia. He did not ask for security escorts.
International news agencies have decribed Maung’s political party as a neo-Nazi organisation. One report said its members were “Rakhine fanatics, terrorists and fake monks”.