By Emanuel Stoakes
Late last month, Myanmar Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin announced to delegates at the UN General Assembly that a long-expected “action plan” for Rakhine state, the site of the country’s most urgent human rights crisis, was “being finalized and will soon be launched.”
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri could not have done a greater disservice to the Muslims of Myanmar when, in early September, he claimed that he was going to “raise the flag of jihad,” or holy war, across South Asia. That would, he said, include actions in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and in the Indian states of Assam, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir. Not surprisingly, the London-based Burmese Muslim Association issued a statement shortly afterward, saying that “the Muslims in Burma will never accept any help from a terrorist organization, which is in principle a disgrace and morally repugnant.”
A new cure for hepatitis C has given new hope, but its price is far too high, while a scheme to supply poor countries excludes Malaysia and other middle-income countries.
A CONTROVERSY is brewing over a new cure for hepatitis C because it is extremely expensive and patients in middle-income countries like Malaysia will find it way beyond their budget.
There are an estimated 400,000 Malaysians with hepatitis C, but this is probably a significant under-estimate since many people are not aware that they have the virus.