Anger Over Attacks Against Myanmar Migrants in Malaysia

The ethnic violence in Myanmar seems to be spreading in nearby countries.

Some Myanmar Buddhist migrants in Malaysia have been attacked in recent weeks which many people believe are related to the ongoing ethnic and religious tension in Myanmar. According to Eleven Media, 6 died and 12 were hospitalized with injuries during the violent attacks against Myanmar nationals in Malaysia from May 30 to June 8.

Myanmar's Embassy in Malaysia initially dismissed the news which angered many Burmese netizens. Ye Htut, Myanmar's Deputy Minister of Ministry of Information clarified[my] the report:

(We) read the news on the Internet about the clashes near a Myanmar monastery at KamPung and Selayang and that some Myanmar nationals died. (We) immediately asked the Myanmar Embassy in Malaysia about this issue at 5 pm and again at 8 pm via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ambassador said the news was false. […]

A Myanmar national put 11 red roses at Malaysia Embassy Yangon for Myanmar nationals killed at Malaysia.

A Myanmar national put 11 red roses in front of Malaysia's Embassy in Yangon in honor of Myanmar migrants killed in Malaysia. Photo – Ye Moe's Facebook.

Wai Lin Oo expressed[my] his frustration with the Embassy's response:

It's actually happening! If you want to approve Embassy's words, just prepare a flight in Myanmar to carry the dead bodies back.

Fang Ran asserted[my] a similar point.

People are suffering. They are just simply liars who don't even go outside the Embassy. And they charge us extreme taxes. I can't even mention in words how they often reprimand ( citizens who are seeking refuge in the Embassy). […] When can we depend on Myanmar government? It's really discouraging. Where is respect for human rights of Myanmar nationals?[…]

Myo Set compared[my] how the governments of other countries are behaving when faced with a similar situation:

When a Japanese was killed in 2007 in Myanmar, a Japan Minister came at once. When Myanmar workers had issues with a Korean factory owner, the Korean Embassy suddenly became involved in the case. North Korea cleared away the books about Kim Jong Ill from book shops in Myanmar. What a shame! US came down to Myanmar once there were issues of Yettaw.

Our turn?

In Malaysia, the Ambassador's mouth got a stroke. Ministry of Information is crippled and Myanmar government is paralyzed.

We are Burmese, a community page of Myanmar citizens around the world questioned the silence of NGOs and media regarding the abuses suffered by Buddhists in Malaysia: 

When riots in Meikhtilar Township in Myanmar happened, (the global) media and international organizations (like the) UN, Human Rights Watch (reported) about it and some even exaggerated the (situation), labeling it ethnic cleansing, genocide, Muslims in Myanmar are being brutally massacred, or something like that….But why are they silent than normal about the current massacre in Malaysia targeting Myanmar Buddhists? How many lives must the Burmese Buddhists sacrifice further to put the (situation) on pages and screens? Please show the so-called RIGHTS you all repeatedly use whenever you get every chance to make the Burmese Buddhists dishonorable in every page and every screen worldwide.

On June 4, when voices became louder and attacks became more serious, the Myanmar government issued an Aide Memoire to Malaysia's Ambassador in Myanmar urging the Malaysian government to investigate the issue immediately and take legal actions against responsible persons. On June 6, Malaysia reported that 900 Myanmar nationals were detained during a security sweep. Myanmar government is preparing[my] to send a team of special representatives to Malaysia.

Since some of the injured Myanmar migrants cannot afford the hospital bills, the Malaysia Kampung Free Funeral Service Social Team (Kampung FFSS) gave donation to the victims. U Aung Ko Win, President of the Kanbawza Bank who also runs Myanmar Airways International (MAI) donated[my] $50,000 US dollars and cut the MAI air ticket fees of the Malaysia-Myanmar route by 50% for the convenience of migrants who wish to go back to Myanmar. Another well-known wealthy personnel, U Zaw Zaw, who is President of Myanmar Football Federation announced[my] that he will donate 1,000 air tickets for those who want to go back to Myanmar, plus additional $20,000 US dollars donation to Kampung FFSS.

Many netizens on Facebook changed their profile pictures to black to grieve the deaths of Myanmar citizens in Malaysia.


  • […] by Chan Myae Khine · comments (0) Share: Donate · facebook · twitter · reddit · StumbleUpon · […]

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  • tocharian

    You said in your first sentence: “The ethnic violence in Myanmar seems to be spreading in nearby countries.”

    Are you saying this “bad blood” between Muslims and Buddhists all started in “Myanmar”? So what’s the real cause there and who should we blame? Changing profile pictures in Facebook or even some junta-crony-business-tycoon offering cheap plane tickets (so that he looks good in the media!) won’t solve any ethnic and religious conflicts in Burma. So what’s your solution? I abhor any kind of violence and this “tit for tat” senseless killing based on religious fervour or some silly primitive tribal ethnic racial identity is a totally reprehensible and “oxymoronic” behaviour that the whole civilised world (not just NGO’s) should condemn, no matter where these incidents have their origin. To abolish a disease, it’s not enough to complain about the symptoms. You have to eliminate the root cause.

    By the way, Burmese should be very careful of crticising humanitarian organisations such as HRW or UNHRC. It may sound hypocritical to the rest of the world, because tens of thousands of Burmese IDP’s and refugees (many claiming political asylum) were helped by these same organisations to settle down in economically more lucrative countries over the last 30 years or so. Why shouldn’t the Rohngyas get the same treatment?

    • Katy

      @tocharain, Don’t blindly judge us by reading craps online. We are more than happy to hear them get help from whatever groups out there. If they feel sorry for them, take them. Take all of them out of our land. You too can do the same!

  • Katy

    Well the answer is simple. We don’t go around killing ppl like they do. They live illegally in our country & insult our women, our religion and never even bother to follow the rules there. Learn more about the root of the problem before writing baseless things about other countries. And btw, I’ve lived in many countries and Myanmar is best of all. Real Myanmar Buddhists are nicest, kindest in the world. They forgive their enemies, that’s the reason why ppl like you have no idea why we got bullied by the intruders (Rohingya) and why this is keeping happening again and again. Because we forgave them and continued to allow them to stay. Now is time to do what’s right and that’s why we are speaking up and fighting back!

    • tocharian

      Who are “we” and who are “they”? As long as Burmese think in those terms, there will be no peace in the country.
      If “Myanmar” is really “the best of all countries”, where the “nicest and kindest of all people in the world live”, as you say, then what are all these Burmese refugees and migrants (millions of them) doing in countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, UK, Norway, USA, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Lebanon, UAE, etc., where people are “not so kind and not so nice”? According to your theory, shouldn’t they all go back to Burma to “speak up and fight back” and get rid of those “pesky illegal intruders and bullies” like the Rohingyas and the ubiquitous Chinese LOL
      I believe in inclusiveness, tolerance and fairness. I am strongly against exploitation of the poor rural people in Burma so that some Chinese-backed junta generals, their families, their business-crony-tycoons, ethnic drug-warlords can get filthy rich and stash away their money in banks in Singapore (or Switzerland or Dubai or Hongkong, whatever!)

  • aschops

    The Buddhists are getting what was coming for them.

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