Burmese migrant community in Malaysia tense after recent attacks – The Irrawaddy

KUALA LUMPUR — Differing accounts are emerging from Burmese migrants and refugees in Malaysia about recent deadly violence here that has claimed several lives and pitted Burmese groups in Malaysia against each other. The deaths, which prompted the arrest of hundreds of Burmese nationals by Malaysian police, are being described as spillover from recent Buddhist-Muslim clashes in Burma. “We don’t know who did these attacks,” says San Win, chairman of the Malaysia Myanmar Free Funeral Service, a Kuala Lumpur-based group that assists Burmese migrants. Flicking through gory photos of roughly stitched victims of the violence, he adds, “but we think it could be the Rohingya people.” The president of the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHOM), Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani, disputes this speculation. “This is not correct,” he says, citing previous attacks by Buddhists on Muslims in Burma, which he says did not prompt sectarian reprisals in Malaysia. “We have to respect Malaysian law and if any Rohingya breaks the law, we don’t support it,” Abdul Ghani adds.