At this moment, some 140,000 Rohingyas in the Rakhine state of Myanmar have crossed the border into Bangladesh to flee the violence in the country.
Let us take a look at its impact and repercussions for Malaysia and the rakyat as well as the region.
Rohingyas are human beings
The Myanmar government must realise that the Rohingyas have been living in the Rakhine state for centuries well before the formation of Myanmar.
The Rohingyas have been in existence even before the British occupied the country then known as Burma.
So the Buddhist majority military junta must understand and realise that fact.
Buddhism is a religion of peace
The whole world knows that Buddhism is a religion of peace espoused by its Lord Siddharta Gautama Buddha.
Buddhism has for centuries propagated among its followers to respect and tolerate each other and other religions and other people.
So for the monks in Myanmar to lead protests and condone killings and violence of the Rohingyas are irreprehensible and incomprehensible.
So why are the Buddhists killing the Rohingyas? What happened to your faith?
Ethnic cleansing, genocide is a no no in this day and age
Ethnic cleansing and genocide is an international crime against humanity ever since Nazi Adolf Hitler exterminated six million Jews during World War Two.
But ever since then, very few ethnic cleansing has happened except a few such as the Serbs killing the Bosnians in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda.
But now the world has evolved and the people have become civilized and more educated.
Ethnic cleansing is a no no in this day and age and should not happen in the 21st century.
The people of the world must learn to co-exist with each other especially Myanmar.
Demonstrations will disrupt business
The Myanmar violence has already sparked numerous demonstrations and protests in Jakarta.
Last week in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, thousands of Rohingya protesters blocked the road causing massive traffic jams.
Umno Youth led by its leader Khairy Jamaluddin staged two protests on September 9 in front of the United Nations’ Malaysia headquarters and at the Myanmar Embassy.
All this demos is not good as it will only disrupt business, scare away investors and tourists.
When the business activities are not brisk, it will affect the economy and affect the rakyat.
All this will affect the rakyat to earn an income and weaken our economy.
Malaysia has to send strong message to Myanmar to stop the violence.
Travel bans will disrupt economic progress in the region
The violence in Myanmar will also prompt governments around the world to issue travel bans or advisory not to travel to Myanmar.
However, the travel ban will also discourage people from flying into the region.
China and European tourists might avoid Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia altogether due to the protests.
Airline companies from around the world will be aware of the high tension in the region and will fly far away from the conflict area.
Airline companies might reduce flights to the Asean region and all tourism activities in South Asia will be affected.
Thus it is important for Myanmar to end the conflict.
Investors will shy away
When there is violence in Myanmar, the whole region will be affected which include Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
When this happens, international investors will shy away not only from Malaysia but the whole region.
This will have a lot of negative impact on the rakyat because when there are no international investors, there will be no jobs and economic activity.
In the end, the rakyat will suffer.
So Myanmar must be a responsible country.
Influx of Myanmar refugees into Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia
If the violence in Myanmar is not stopped, one of the repercussions is that there will be an influx of refugees into Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Huge arrivals of Myanmar refugees will be a logistical nightmare for countries such as Malaysia as we need to locate them to immigration detention centers, feed and clothe them.
Unregistered Rohingyas will also pose security and social problems to the country.
Bernama reported on September 7 that Malaysian border security agencies are working closely with their counterparts in Thailand.
Although there is no sign as yet on the movement of the Rohingya into the country, the authorities are on full alert, sharing information with the neighbouring countries and the Interpol.
Long term diplomatic relations will be impacted
Myanmar must remember that if it does not resolve the Rohingya conflict soon, its long term relationship with other countries in the region will be affected.
Not only that the, the whole world could also be against Myanmar.
If Myanmar has no friends in the world, it cannot establish economic relations with other countries.
If it does not have economic relations, its people will suffer such as in North Korea.
The neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia do not have anything to lose.
Myanmar has got everything to lose.
Unfair for Malaysia to bear the cost of hosting the Rohingyas
One of the many impacts of the Rohingya crisis is that it would be a financial burden for Malaysia to host the refugees.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib told reporters on September 8 that Malaysia had always upheld the principle and sanctity of life, but we cannot be hosting so many Rohingyas in the country.
Datuk Seri Najib said it is unfair for affected parties to inflict more cost on Malaysia to manage and receive the Rohingyas.
Datuk Seri Najib said : “The problem needs to be solved at the source,” and that source is Myanmar.
United Nations must act
The international community led by the United Nations must act against these atrocities.
These include deploying peacekeeping missions into Myanmar as well as impose economic sanctions.
Peacekeeping soldiers and economic sanctions might do the trick because all this while Myanmar is getting away with murder.
Superpower nations could impose an economic blockade preventing essential items such as medicine and petrol from getting into the country.
Only when pressured, will Myanmar stop these atrocities which have shocked the world.
As big brother, China should talk to Myanmar
Everybody knows that China as big brother has a close relationship with Myanmar.
China as Asia’s leader and economic powerhouse should wield its influence on Myanmar to tone down a bit on the violence.
This is because Myanmar’s actions have upset its neighbours such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Indirectly, the relationship of these countries with China will be strained.
So China must tell Myanmar to stop with the violence.
An autonomous region for the Rohingyas?
Conflicts between races, tribes, religion and creed are part of this world.
But it does not justify killing each other to wipe them off the face of the earth.
Perhaps what Myanmar can do is to emulate the southern autonomous region in southern Thailand, in southern Philippines as well as in Acheh, Indonesia.
All the local people of these countries have conflicts with their governments.
But tensions have died down ever since autonomous regions were established.
Perhaps it is high time for Myanmar to earmark Rakhine state as an autonomous region.
Let the Rohingyas have their own territory and their own government but still remain part of Myanmar.
In this way, there will be peace in Myanmar and other parts of the region.
Highlight Myanmar’s atrocities at international forums
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said on September 5 that enough is enough and that the Myanmar conflict should be discussed at international forums.
The international forums will greatly expose Myanmar’s atrocities to the eyes of the world.
This “name and shame” is a good approach as it would severely embarass Myanmar.
A negative publicity will elevate Myanmar as an international pariah which will be shunned by the world.
Tribunals will be held around the world to expose Myanmar
A tribunal on the situation of the Rohingya in Myanmar will be held at Universiti Malaya’s law faculty from Sept 18 to Sept 22.
The tribunal which is open to the public will be organised by Just International (Just), Centre for Human Rights Advocacy and the International Forum on Buddhist-Muslim relations at University Malaya.
JUST president Dr Chandra Muzaffar said on September 8 that the tribunal would present witnesses of crimes against humanity and atrocities on the Rohingyas which faced oppression in Myanmar.
He said the first session of the tribunal was held in London, United Kingdom in March.
If Myanmar does not stop the violence, the tribunal could be held in London, New York and Tokyo in the future which will be negative exposure to Myanmar.
The results of the hearing will be delivered to international bodies especially the United Nations so that action can be taken against Myanmar and at the same time, end violence.
Rohingya matter will be brought to the attention of US President
In the New Straits Times on September 8, Datuk Seri Najib said he will raise the Rohingya issue during his meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House on September 12. This should be a wake up call for Myanmar because all this while, the country is able to do anything it likes with reckless abandon.
This is because the US has not been there to warn Myanmar.
Perhaps after this, the US might take notice and lead a campaign to pressure Myanmar to stop with the violence.
Who knows, maybe the US might even apply economic sanctions just like what the superpower nation is doing to North Korea and Iran.
Let us hope for the best because the Myanmar violence has to be stopped for the sake of the people in Malaysia as well as the region.