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Rohingya issue should be addressed immediately – Hishammuddin

KLUANG: Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the issue of the ethnic Rohingya must be addressed immediately to prevent them from being exploited by unscrupulous people, mainly militants.

He said following the all-out effort by the west against the militants in Syria and Iraq, the ethnic group had to find other places to seek refuge.

“I am worried that they (terrorists) will quickly find refuge outside Syria and Iraq, if not in southern Thailand or southern Philippines, (they will) go to the Rohingya area in Rakhine,” he told reporters at Felda Ulu Penggeli here today.

Hishammuddin said he was worried that the oppression against the Rohingya people would force them to turn to the Daesh militant group for support.

He said if that happened, bigger problems would surface including instability in the ASEAN region.

“We know that the Abu Sayyaf and other militant groups have pledged their support towards Daesh and when they (Daesh) failed in Syria and Iraq, they have to look to other areas for protection or create the Islamiyah territory in other places, there is no reason why we would be exempted from their plans,” said Hishammuddin.

In this regard, he said, the government’s proactive efforts needed to be continued as well as identifying the areas that might become the target of the militant group.

He added that the ministry was working closely with Indonesia and the Philippines to curb the militant threat.

Earlier, the Sembrong MP handed over land grants to 84 settlers from Felda Ulu Penggeli and Kahang Barat.

To date, 984 settlers in Sembrong had received their land grants.