Malaysian PM 'very concerned with plight of migrants'

Malaysian PM 'very concerned with plight of migrants'

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Friday he was "very concerned with the plight of migrants" flooding to Southeast Asian shores, saying there was a shared desire in the region for a solution.

"I am very concerned with the plight of migrants in our region, some of whom have already reached our shores and still others who are trying," he said in a statement.

"We are in contact with all relevant parties, with whom we share the desire to find a solution to this crisis," he added, without elaborating.

The issue was one of "international and regional importance," Najib said.

Hundreds of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh have sought this week to reach Southeast Asia, and activists estimate up to 8,000 more may be at sea and at risk of dying of starvation.

But the decision of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to turn away stricken boats filled with starving migrants has been met with outrage, including from the US and UN.

Najib did not give any indication of a change in Malaysian policy, but said his government was taking "necessary action".

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Security Council are taking the necessary actions to deal with this humanitarian crisis," he said.

He did not elaborate.

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