Malaysia takes new steps to end migrant crisis

Malaysia maintains political and humanitarian efforts to assist migrants in response to international pressure over crisis in Andaman Sea

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

As Malaysia continues its efforts to look for a way to end the migrant crisis in the region, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman will meet his counterpart in Myanmar on Thursday to discuss the irregular movement of the migrants in Andaman Sea.   

Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah and his counterpart U Wunna Maung Lwin will hold a bilateral meeting in Nay Pyi Taw to discuss human trafficking and people smuggling in Southeast Asia, according to a press release from the Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry.

Anifah Aman's visit came a day after a trilateral meeting with Indonesian and Thai Foreign Ministers in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday in which Malaysia and Indonesia agreed to provide shelter for 7000 irregular migrants stranded in the region.  

Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand have been under international pressure due to being slow to help Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants who have been stuck in the Andaman Sea.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced earlier on Thursday that he assigned the Malaysian navy and coastguard to launch a search and rescue operation for the migrants.   

“I have further ordered [the] Royal Malaysian Navy and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency to conduct search and rescue efforts for Rohingya boats”. Najib said on his Twitter account.

“We have to prevent loss of life,” he added.

Rohingya muslims are not identified as citizens by Myanmar because the country claims that they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. But Rohingyas say that they have to escape from oppression in Myanmar and flee to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

TRTWorld and agencies