Malaysia a ‘living hell’ for refugees, says report

Source: Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia cannot be considered a haven for refugees despite the government’s recent pledge to take in thousands of people fleeing the war in Syria, a US-based news portal reports.

In fact, Malaysia is a “living hell” for refugees, according to the Malaysian Social Research Institute (MSRI).

“Based on my experience, I don’t think and I will never think that Malaysia is a good place for refugees,” MSRI counsellor Ronald Sutedja was quoted as saying by News Deeply.

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Praise for move to let Rohingya work

Source: The Star Online

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Latest findings: Shamini Darshni and Amnesty International Southeast Asia and Pacific Regional Office deputy director (campaigns) Josef Roy Benefit at the launch of the report in Kuala Lumpur.

PETALING JAYA: A pilot programme to allow Rohingya refugees in Malaysia to work is a positive step taken by the Government with regards to human rights, says Amnesty International Malaysia.

Its executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu, in unveiling the Amnesty International Report 2016/17 yesterday, said about 300 Rohingya would be allowed to work legally in the country under the scheme. Read more

Amnesty: Malaysia still lagging on rights issues

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Protesters sit on the road at Jalan Ampang during the Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur November 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

Protesters sit on the road at Jalan Ampang during the Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur November 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 ― Malaysia has not made progress on various human rights areas, Amnesty International (AI) said in its annual report on the country released today.

The group highlighted six problem areas for the country: freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, arbitrary arrests and detentions, police and security forces, refugees and asylum seekers and death penalty.

“The persistent crackdown on the rights to freedom of expression and the lack of police accountability in Malaysia are among the major concerns raised in the Amnesty International Report 2016/2017 released today. Read more

Recognise the rights and dignity of asylum seekers and refugees, and eliminate human trafficking — Steven Thiru

Source: The Malay Mail Online

JUNE 20 — The Malaysian Bar acknowledges the indomitable spirit and courage of all refugees on World Refugee Day 2015.

President of the Malaysian Bar Steven Thiru - Picture by MMO/Saw Siow Feng

President of the Malaysian Bar Steven Thiru – Picture by MMO/Saw Siow Feng

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”) in Malaysia reported that as at July 2014 there were 47,352 asylum seekers (pending cases), 98,207 refugees, 40,000 stateless persons, and 80,000 individuals who do not fall into any of these other categories, residing in Malaysia. This brings the population of concern to a staggering total of 265,559.[1]

Unlike economic migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Malaysia are often victims of various forms of persecution, oppression and deprivation. They are subjected to harassment, extortion, physical abuse or assault and ill treatment. These persons live in an environment of fear, and insecurity.

Our laws do not accord asylum seekers and refugees due recognition, care and protection. They are treated as “illegal immigrants” under the Immigration Act 1959/1963.[2] Thus, they are exposed to arrest, detention, whipping and deportation. This unacceptable state of affairs is compounded by Malaysia’s obdurate reticence to ratify the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (“the 1951 Convention”) and the 1967 Protocol Relating (“the 1967 Protocol”) to the Status of Refugees, both which are instruments encapsulating customary international law in relation to the recognition of the socio-economic rights of refugees and the provision of humanitarian assistance and social integration. Read more