Foreigners using UNHCR programme to be ‘ghosts’ here, deputy home minister says

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Malaysia is aiming to prevent foreigners from misusing the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) refugee system to turn “ghosts” in this country, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said today.

The deputy home minister said many migrants and refugees were found throwing away identifications from their countries of origin, and then registering using the United Nations (UN) system to remain in Malaysia for a lengthy period of time.

“We don’t want to have ‘ghosts’ in our system. This system can be open to abuse. That’s why we need to close the loophole in the UNHCR system.

“A lot of these migrants come here and throw away their identification and sign up for the UN programme and stay here for a long time. This is not right,” Nur Jazlan told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

The Pulai MP was responding to claims made by several Asean lawmakers that Malaysia cared more about documenting migrants rather than providing them with adequate human rights. Read more

Asean MPs: Greater protection for migrants, refugees needed

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Asean lawmakers today urged regional governments to step up efforts to protect migrant workers and refugees.

Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) board member Teddy Baguilat said both sending and receiving countries needed to do their part to end abusive recruitment and employment practices for migrant workers, and promote the security and rights of refugees fleeing persecution.

Baguilat, who is a member of the Philippines House of Representatives, said Asean and member governments had a duty to ensure that all people, whether their own citizens or those from other countries, were protected.

“This should include strengthening domestic and regional legal frameworks to provide security and enable people to pursue recourse and justice,” he said.

APHR undertook a fact-finding mission just over a month after the start of an ongoing crackdown on undocumented migrant workers in Malaysia, which it said already resulted in thousands of arrests. Read more

Parliamentarians call on Malaysian authorities to release Bersih activist

Source: Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR)

maria-chin_law_6001_1aphr-logoJAKARTA — Parliamentarians from across Southeast Asia today joined the growing chorus of civil society groups and human rights advocates calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson of Bersih 2.0, a movement for clean government and free and fair elections in Malaysia.

MPs also called for the repeal of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), an anti-terror law which was invoked following Ms. Chin’s arrest on Friday.

“SOSMA is a security law designed to arrest terrorists. There is no justification for its use in this case and it is clearly being abused. Maria Chin Abdullah is not a terrorist; she is a human rights defender and a committed citizen promoting peaceful public activism. She must be immediately and unconditionally released,” said Charles Santiago, a member of the Malaysian Parliament and Chairperson of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR).

Maria Chin Abdullah was arrested the night of Friday, 18 November under Section 124C of the Penal Code, which outlaws “attempts to commit an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy.” On Saturday authorities revealed that she was also being investigated under SOSMA, which allows for her detention without charge for up to 28 days. Read more