26 September 2017

News Story: Malaysia calls Cayetano's statement on Rohingya crisis a 'misrepresentation of reality'

By Gaea Katreena Cabico

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2, 10:51 a.m.) — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano over the weekend released a statement as the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on the crisis in Rakhine state without referring to violence against Rohingya Muslims.

Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim nation and a member of ASEAN, disassociated itself from the ASEAN chairperson's position and described it as a "misrepresentation of the reality of the situation."

Malaysia's Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman, in a strongly worded disavowal, said Cayetano's statement "was not based on consensus."

"The statement (of Cayetano) also omits the Rohingyas as one of the affected communities," Aman said in a statement on Sunday.

Before the chair's statement, ASEAN has kept mum on the crisis involving Bangladesh and member-state Myanmar. Even rarer still is Malaysia's public opposition in the Southeast Asian bloc known for its "flexible engagement," "non-interference" and consensus.

Read the full story at PhilStar