Rohingya association president claims he has been receiving constant threats

PETALING JAYA: The President of Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (Merhrom) Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani (pix) has made a police report concerning allegations made against him on social media.

“People have been calling me constantly saying they want to kill me,” Zafar told theSun during a telephone conversation.

Throughout the interview, the line was cut off a few times with Zafar claiming it was due to the threatening spam calls coming in.

“Once again, these allegations on social media are false. All I ever demanded in my capacity as Mehrom’s president, is for Asean to pressure Myanmar to stop the genocide against the Rohingya people and humanitarian aid for the refugees already here,” he said.

Zafar is also aware that the threats directed at him have been diverted towards the Rohingyas. For these past few days, there have been a wave of xenophobic attacks by Malaysian netizens against the Rohingya community. In response to that, Zafar said: “I thank the Malaysian government, NGOs, and people for the help we have already received. We request Malaysians not to take out their anger on the Rohingyas.”

“If the Myanmar government gives us citizenship and rights, we will gladly go back.”

When asked why did these allegations suddenly surface, and if the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) has anything to do with it, Zafar wasn’t sure, but he claimed that reports stating that there are 15,000 Rohingya refugees in the Selayang Baru area isn’t true.

“From what I know only 300 Rohingya refugees are in the area,” he said.

“There might be other refugees and immigrants there. We do look like Bangladeshis, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) gives out ID cards that don’t state the ethnicity of refugees,” Zafar added.

We tried contacting the UNHCR to confirm the number of refugees, but we have yet to get a response.

His wife (who did not want to be named out of fear), was also on the line and confirmed that Zafar and his family have been receiving threats.

“We aren’t sure if they will act on those threats, but it is scary. It’s mental torture and my kids are traumatised and can’t study,” she said.

“We want MCMC to monitor these false allegations.”