GEORGE TOWN: Penang's Parti Amanah Negara (PAN) has urged the Youth and Sports Ministry and Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to withdraw from the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Championship 2016 currently being held in Myanmar.
Its Youth chief Mohd Saifullah Abd Nasir said this was to protest against the Myanmar government's subjugation against the Rohingya community in the country.
He said reports of military action against the Muslim-majority Rohingya community was cruel and a violation of human rights.
“This protest will be proof that Malaysia is a country that supports human rights and in solidarity with those who are against ethnic cleansing.
”We are asking the Federal government especially the Ministry and FAM to pull out our football team from the AFF Cup,” he said at the State Legislative Assembly building here today.
The call to boycott the AFF Cup comes in the wake of similar demands from Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar today.
Saifullah said such protest would not be the first time for the Malaysian Football team.
“In 1980, the Malaysian Football squad qualified for the Moscow Olympics but pulled out because Russia was attacking Afghanistan,” he added.
Saifullah also called on the Federal government to work out a solution to assist the Rohingya refugees, registered with the UNCHR, by allowing them to work here.
“Priority should be given to these Rohingya refugees,” he said.