Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has expressed his disappointment with the United Nations Security Council over its response to the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.
Terming the UN response as "very saddening", the Malaysian prime minister told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Friday (23 September) that the Security Council had not taken "any serious action" in dealing with the Rohingya crisis, reports Aljazeera.
"Some even see the Security Council as having washed its hands of [Myanmar] and handing the matter over to ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations]," he said.
Myanmar's military seized power in February 2021 from Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government, plunging the country into what some UN experts have described as a nascent civil war that has killed thousands.
The prime minister also said that ASEAN's "Five-Point Consensus" – which had called for an immediate end to violence, the appointment of a special envoy and discussions involving all stakeholders – needed to be given "a new lease of life".
"Malaysia is disappointed that there is no meaningful progress in the implementation of the ASEAN Five Point Consensus especially by the Myanmar junta. In its current form, the ASEAN Five Point Consensus cannot continue any longer," he said.
Malaysia has been leading calls for a tougher approach to Myanmar's military administration, and has also called for ASEAN to engage with the National Unity Government (NUG) established by the elected politicians the generals removed from power.
The Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore have also pushed for a firmer line with Myanmar's generals.
The Malaysian prime minister added that the crisis had worsened the situation for millions of refugees from Myanmar, including the mainly Muslim Rohingya refugees – nearly a million of whom now languish in sprawling refugee camps in Bangladesh.
"Although Malaysia is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol, Malaysia, on humanitarian grounds, accepted nearly 200,000 Rohingya refugees," he said.