KUALA LUMPUR: It would be better for Myanmar to be excluded from ASEAN as genocide is unacceptable, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The former prime minister urged ASEAN as well as the United Nations to take action against Myanmar.
“Countries like this only give a bad name to us. So, if you want to commit genocide, leave ASEAN,” he said.
“Myanmar has not responded to requests to be more humane, instead they continue merciless killing of people, and this should not be the case,” he said while delivering his keynote speech at the International Conference themed ‘Plight of the Rohingya, crime against humanity’.
He added that the United Nations should be asked to do something about it.
“Although they are not capable of doing anything, we need to push for it. I even wrote a letter to Aung Sang Suu Kyi on this matter, but there has been no response, so the fate of the people there needs to be defended from the outside,” he said.
While emphasising that the boat people situation would not have existed if not for Myanmar, Dr Mahathir added that the ‘no interference’ policy has limitations which have now been breached by Myanmar.
“If it is a matter of political matters, then yes, it is acceptable, but there should be a limit to what constitutes non-interference.
” Although it is internal, the killing of people should not be tolerated, they should not have the right to treat people that way,” he said, adding that Malaysia just stood by and did nothing when two million people were killed in Cambodia.
“These people have been a part of the country for 800 years,” said Dr Mahathir, adding that the law prohibits countries from expelling people.
He added that he had a lot of respect for Buddhism because it preached peace.
“But here, these peace-loving people are perpetrating horrible atrocities. They burn homes and kill people.
“They are committing something that is prohibited by their religion or any religion for that matter,” he said.