Why exodus of one million Rohingya refugees is a real possibility
The native Burmese are very hostile to the Rohingya while the Myanmar government takes a hardline position to the extent of refusing to recognize the minority Muslim group as a legitimate ethnicity.
So basically, if Malaysia and any other host country is willing to take the Rohingya, then Myanmar really wouldn’t mind exporting the whole lot of them.
Or to look at it another way, once Malaysia signals that it is soft and willing to open its door to Rohingya immigrants, then you can expect the government of Myanmar to quite happily push its entire Rohingya population out.
Thus the fear of an exodus of Rohingya refugees from Arakan that could flood Malaysia is not really such a far-fetched idea.
(1) Orang asing bebas masuk keluar Burma sepanjang zaman penjajahan British 1824-1948
“During the period between 1824 and the time we regained independence in January 1948, foreigners, or aliens, entered our country unhindered under various pretexts. They came to live in Burma and mainly for economic reasons. The first to come were the English who ruled our country. After them came many of their camp followers.” – Speech by General Ne Win on 8 October 1982
“Between 1826 and 1948, the Rohingya were brought from India by the British during their colonial rule to work in Myanmar.” – Newsweek on 11 May 2015
(2) Sejumlah 135 puak diiktiraf sebagai warganegara bangsa oleh perlembagaan Burma
“Nationals such as the Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Chin, Burman, Mon, Rakhine or Shan and ethnic groups as have settled in any of the territories included within the State as their permanent home from a period anterior to 1185 B.E., 1823 A.D. are Burma citizens.” – Burmese Citizenship Law 1982
(3) Syarat kelayakan dalam undang-undang mengekang Rohingya daripada menjadi warga
“The stipulations of the Burma Citizenship Law governing the right to one of the three types of Burmese citizenship effectively deny to the Rohingya the possibility of acquiring a nationality. Despite being able to trace Rohingya history to the eighth century, Burmese law does not recognize the ethnic minority as one of the national races. Many Rohingya families migrated to and settled in Arakan during the British colonial period which would immediately exclude them from citizenship.” – Human Rights Watch report in May 2000
(4) Istilah ‘Rohingya’ tidak pernah dipakai oleh British dalam mana-mana banci
“… the designation ‘Rohingya’ was completely unknown to the British who administered Arakan from 1826 to 1948. It is not to be found in any of the eight censuses compiled between 1872 and 1941. Nor does it appear in any gazetteers, reports or other official documents, nor yet in private reminiscences and correspondence. This total absence of any British record …” – Derek Tonkin, former British ambassador to Thailand on 17 August 2014
“In Rakhine State, [census] enumeration has not been completed in many households where respondents wanted to record their ethnic group as Rohingya. The Government last week announced that Rohingya would not be allowed as a response despite earlier assurances that everyone could freely self-identify their ethnicity. The Ministry of Immigration and Population asserts it acted to prevent possible bloodshed in the polarized region.” – Cabinet Minister U Khin Yi quoted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on 9 April 2014
(5) Presiden Myanmar berkata tidak pernah wujud bangsa bergelar ‘Rohingya’, hanya ada bangsa ‘Bengali’
“In the interview, Thein Sein said the Rohingya, who have lived in Burma for generations, are not a native population. He would not say whether he thinks they deserve citizenship, but he said it is possible if individual Rohingya meet the terms for naturalized citizenship under a 1982 law.
‘There are no Rohingya among the races’ in Burma, Thein Sein said. ‘We only have Bengalis who were brought for farming’ during British rule.” – President Thein Sein in interview with The Washington Post on
(6) Burma melepaskan tanggungjawabnya terhadap Rohingya kepada PBB
“Burma’s presidential office released a statement on Wednesday saying that it wants to hand over responsibility for the Rohingya minority to the UN’s refugee agency in Arakan State, adding that it is also ‘willing to send the Rohingyas to any third country that will accept them.’
“The presidential office said that “it is impossible for Burma to accept people who are not ethnic to the country and who have entered illegally.”
“In its statement, the Burmese government said it wanted ‘to hand over Rohingya people’ to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) which would provide shelter in the form of refugee camps, as well as food and aid.
“The president’s office also offered its version of historical events, saying that the Rohingyas were brought into Burma by British colonialists to work in agriculture. After independence in 1948, many of the migrants settled down in Arakan State and did not return home, it said, adding that many others entered Burma illegally after 1948.
“It went on to say that the Rohingya migration was a ‘threat to national stability and peace‘.” – President of Myanmar’s statement on 12 July 2012