Tenaganita: Loan sharks now ‘helping’ migrants at hospitals

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Human rights organisation Tenaganita is aware that some loan sharks loaf around hospitals to take advantage of migrants who are in need of money for medical treatment.

Tenaganita executive director Glorene Das — pic from FMT News.

Speaking to FMT, Tenaganita director Glorene Das said they had heard of loan sharks waiting at the hospital and offering loans to immigrants for their medical treatment.

The matter first came to FMT’s attention when an Indonesian immigrant with permanent resident status in Malaysia tipped off the portal.

He said when his friend took his pregnant wife to a government hospital, “agents” approached his friend, saying they were willing to help if he did not have any money to pay for the pregnancy care.

Foreign residents have to pay a larger deposit when seeking treatment at government hospitals. In a move to reduce the medical subsidy for non-citizens, the health ministry in April announced new rates for admission to wards and surgery. Read more

Malaysia Rights Panel Disturbed Over More Than 600 Deaths in Prisons and Detention Centers — A. Ananthalakshmi

Source: US News

A general view of Bukit Jalil immigration detention center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo from Lai Seng Sin for Reuters.

A general view of Bukit Jalil immigration detention center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo from Lai Seng Sin for Reuters.

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s national human rights panel on Tuesday said it was disturbed by more than 600 deaths at immigration detention centers and prisons over the last two years, and called for immediate reform.

In its 2016 annual report, the panel, known by its Malay acronym, Suhakam, said there were more than 100 deaths in immigration detention centers and 521 deaths in prisons in 2015 and 2016. Twelve people died in police lock-ups in 2015.

Last week, citing documents from Suhakam, Reuters reported that 118 foreigners, including undocumented workers, refugees and asylum seekers, had died at detention centers in the last two years. More than half the dead were from Myanmar.

Suhakam said deaths mostly stemmed from diseases in all prisons and detention centers, where the government should look to improve conditions and healthcare.

“There is little interest in the human rights of detainees,” said Chairman Razali Ismail. “This attitude is reflected in government budgetary priorities and the resources made available for the running and upkeep of all places of detention.”

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Eight years on, a Myanmar Chin family in Malaysia seeks a new home

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The family in their rented room without the eldest, teenage son. — Picture by Melissa Chin

The family in their rented room without the eldest, teenage son. — Picture by Melissa Chin

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — Cung Cung was six years old when he made the week-long journey from Myanmar’s Chin state to Malaysia all by himself.

Now all of 10, he barely remembers that trip and has only a hazy memory of his home.

“I remember we have a big garden, and there is a field near our house where I played football with my friends,” he said after a pause, his eyebrows knit and with finger on his chin.

Now Cung Cung has his family with him again. The family that was split apart in 2007 when father Obed initiated their migration, became complete when Cung Cung’s younger sibling joined them in 2011. Read more

Can you tell the difference between a refugee and an illegal immigrant?

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysia is home to a reported 40,000 Rohingyas, many of whom are barred from seeking employment due to their status as asylum seekers and refugees. ― File pic

Malaysia is home to a reported 40,000 Rohingyas, many of whom are barred from seeking employment due to their status as asylum seekers and refugees. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 ― Malaysians’ inability to differentiate between refugees and illegal immigrants was clouding the the recent crisis on human trafficking and boat people, human rights advocates said during a forum last night.

Malaysian Social Research Institute’s (MRSI) Yolanda said this is a crucial problem for refugees as local do not understand why these people were attempting to seek asylum here.

“Generally, Malaysians do not know what is a refugee. They just put them in the same room as illegal immigrants… a lot of them think there are no refugees here,” said the MRSI programme officer who has been dealing with refugees from Syria and Pakistan, among others. Read more

Human trafficking victim: We were treated like animals

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Following the discovery of mass graves where hundreds of starved and tortured migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh were buried at abandoned detention camps in Wang Kelian and Padang Besar, Malay Mail met up with Mohd Junaid Ahmad Mohd Yunus, 29, who made the perilous journey from Myanmar to Thailand by boat and by foot to Malaysia four years ago.

He recalls that Myanmar army personnel had warned that those living in his village would either end up dead or become slaves to human traffickers if they did not flee the country.

After surviving the human trafficking camp in Thailand, he was able to integrate into the Rohingya community in Malaysia.

Junaid is now a religious teacher involved with the Rohingya community residing nearby the Selayang Wholesale Market in Kuala Lumpur. Read more

139 grave sites and 28 death camps found in Perlis so far

Source: The Rakyat Times

border picA total of 139 grave sites and 28 human trafficking ‘death camps’ have been found in Perlis so far, outnumbering the discoveries of similar grave sites on the Thai side of the border.

The graves likely contain the remains of hundreds of Bangladeshi and Burmese Rohingya migrants at the centre of the current human trafficking crisis.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told Reuters that 139 graves had been found during the period May 11 – May 23, with one being just 100m away from the mass grave with 26 corpses discovered in Songkhla earlier this month.

After the Songkhla discovery, the Home Ministry had initially claimed that no such camps existed on the Malaysian side of the border. Read more