Following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's strong show of support for the persecuted Rohingya minority, a Myanmar independent news site has mocked Najib for his interference in the issue
The Irrawaddy's English edition posted a cartoon depicting PM Najib juggling balls that says, "Stop Genocide" while walking a tight rope and carrying a sling bag that is labelled, "Corruption"
Titled "Najib Razak's Stunt" and captioned 'Malaysia masters the art of misdirection', the cartoon by Kyaw Thu Yein has more than 800 likes and 300 shares so far.
Most of the comments on the cartoon post of Najib has been unsavoury, with some using profanity while the rest saying that his actions are just a political ploy to to strengthen his political power.
On Sunday, 4 December, PM Najib led a protest against the genocide of the Muslim Rohingya minority, calling the persecution an insult to Islam.
He strongly urged the world to pressure the Myanmar government to put an end to the decades old violence.
Hoping that the rally would send a message to Myamnar's State Counsellor and Leader of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi that "enough is enough", PM Najib said that he will not stand by and watch the Rohingya people being abused.
"I will not close my eyes and shut my mouth. We must defend them Rohingya not just because they are of the same faith but they are humans, their lives have values.
"UN please do something. The world cannot sit by and watch genocide taking place. The world cannot say it is not our problem. It is our problem," said Najib.
Malaysia's protest against the human rights abuse of the Rohingya people is contradictory to the long-standing policy of non-interference by ASEAN members in each other's affairs.
PM Najib's interference was not well received by the Myanmar government.
Deputy Director General of the President's Office U Zaw Htay said that the Myanmar government will be issuing an official response objecting Najib's participation in the protest
"ASEAN countries should respect the actions of Myanmar on the Rakhine State issue. The new government is working on a solution to this issue. And I want to say again that the Malaysian government should respect the ASEAN charter," said Zaw Htay, as reported by Myanmar Times yesterday, 5 December.
He also warned that Najib's fiery views and actions could possibly stoke religious extremism and branded the protest as a "vote-seeking" act as Malaysia is due to have its 14th General Elections sometime in the near future.
PM Najib wasn't the only one that was criticised by the deputy director general. He also condemned the Malaysia media for inaccurately reporting the situation in the northern Rakhine State. Zaw Htay stressed that the Myanmar government is working on solving the issue with the Rohingya people, referring to the creation of two commissions and their crackdown on suspected militants from a series of attacks on border guard posts.
Myanmar Times also reported that journalists are not allowed in the northern Rakhine State which has only made it almost impossible to verify the Myanmar government counter-claims on the human rights abuses against the Rohingya people. In 2014, the Myanmar government put a bigger dent on press freedom by establishing new restrictions on visas for foreign journalists.
Foreign reporters were previously granted a three-month visa with the option of renewing it inside Myanmar but now they are only given a one-month visa.
PM Najib Razak's claims and thoughts on the Rohingya genocide issue is highly contradictory to Aung San Suu Kyi's: