Rohingya refugee rights — Tricia Yeoh

Source: The Sundaily

BY TRICIA YEOH

opinion-clipart-k12118272AT A “Solidarity March” two weekends ago, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak protested the atrocities taking place in Myanmar, condemning Myanmar for what he considered as the “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya community.

What is happening in Myanmar is without a doubt disturbing, and requires international attention. But Najib needs to turn his eye to the refugee conditions on home ground in Malaysia.

First, Malaysia sits on the United Nations Security Council and could have used this position to act on its concerns, but through the appropriate channels.

If it wants to elevate the seriousness of the developments at an international level, the government could table an emergency motion on what it considers to be the genocide of the Rohingyas in Myanmar at the UN Security Council.

Second, Malaysia has not yet signed or ratified the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention, which means the government does not formally or legally recognise refugees in the country.

This includes Rohingyas, who are therefore not recognised as refugees. The implications of this are, namely, that the government can act according to its whims and fancies whenever it is convenient for it to appear humanitarian. Read more

Ministry to probe NGO selling ID cards to Rohingya

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Prof Azmi Hassan said with thousands of Rohingya refugees already in the country, the issuance of cards without official approval could seem to be a signal to those still in Myanmar to come here. — Reutrs pic

Prof Azmi Hassan said with thousands of Rohingya refugees already in the country, the issuance of cards without official approval could seem to be a signal to those still in Myanmar to come here. — Reutrs pic

PETALING JAYA, Aug 5 — The Home Ministry will investigate the sale of identity cards by a non-governmental organisation to migrants, including those who enter the country illegally.

“This (sale of identity cards) is being done without authorised consent or permission,” Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said.

“It is illegal for identity documents of any kind to be issued without the express permission of the government.

“Those who sell the cards as well as those who bought them were guilty of issuing or being in possession of false documents. We consider these people to be engaged in criminal activities.

“We are looking into the matter and will take appropriate action. We have not received any request to issue cards from the organisation in question.”

Nur Jazlan said even if the organisation had applied for permission and had yet to be granted approval, it was a serious offence to begin distributing such identification cards on their own accord. Read more

No more walk-in approvals for UNHCR refugee cards, says Cabinet

Source: NST Online

(File pix) A woman walks past a UNHCR poster. The Cabinet today decided not to allow UNHCR to issue its refugee identification card to walk-in applicants. AFP photo - Safin Hamed

(File pix) A woman walks past a UNHCR poster. The Cabinet today decided not to allow UNHCR to issue its refugee identification card to walk-in applicants. AFP photo – Safin Hamed

PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet today decided today not to allow United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) to issue its refugee identification card to walk-in applicants.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the international body should seek permission from the Home Ministry to issue such cards.

“I have met the UNCHR representatives several times, and expressed our concern over how such cards can be issued without the knowledge of the authorities such as the Immigration Department and police.

“They should only issue the cards once the status of the applicants have been confirmed by the authorities,” he told reporters at the Prime Minister’s Department Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration today.

The UNHCR cards, he added, should only be given to those detained at immigration depots or those had received the green light from the Home Ministry and the Immigration Department. Read more