Some of the Rohingya refugees seen at the camp in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh on Jan 28, 2018. - NSTP/Muhd Zaaba Zakeria

KUALA LUMPUR: The 200 high-spirited delegates attending the Youth Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 here today turned sombre when one of them appealed to Muslim leaders to continue helping the oppressed Rohingya ethnic group in Myanmar.

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (Merhrom) president Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani claimed that the oppression against the ethnic group had intensified since Myanmar was hauled to the International Court of Justice in The Hague over the plight of the Rohingyas.

“I am a Rohingya from Rakhine state. I have been living in Malaysia for 27 years.

“Everybody knows the situation affecting the Rohingya in Myanmar.

“And for that, we need the prayers and support from all of you to stop this genocide against the Rohingyas.

“Based on the information that I received through WhatsApp, the current situation (involving the Rohingya Muslims) in our country (Myanmar) is very bad.

“Just two days ago, I learned that a village was burnt.

“I believe they (military forces) became very angry when the case (oppression against the ethnic group) was brought to the ICJ,” said Zafar.

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (Merhrom) president Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani speaks during the Youth Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 in Kuala Lumpur. -NSTP/Eizairi Shamsudin

Some of the delegates inside the Plenary Theatre of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here stood up and clapped their hands in a show of support for Zafar.

“There are many challenges which are facing the Rohingyas in our motherland.

“I also believe that every human being deserves to live in peace and harmony in the world.

“The same goes for the Rohingyas.

“We need the support of the international community to save our people.

“We need your help to speak on behalf of us, championing our cause,” he said.

Zafar thanked Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had spoken out against the atrocities affecting the Rohingyas on many occasions, including during the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.

Zafar told reporters that he hoped to meet any of the Muslim leaders attending the event, that he described as his heroes.

“I hope to get a chance to meet my heroes and thank them personally for speaking on behalf of us.

“I am also hoping that I would be able to submit a report prepared by Merhrom to each of them.

“The 94-page long report contains the history, the problems and the aspirations of the Rohingyas, who are affected by this crisis,” he said.

Among the most recognisable Islamic leaders who are expected to attend the summit are Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.