Rohingya fleeing violence won’t be turned away, says Immigration D-G

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

THE Immigration Department said today it will not turn away Rohingya fleeing the mass killings in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

However, Director-General Mustafar Ali said, this did not mean illegal immigrants were off the hook, as the department would continue its crackdown on them.

“If they come to the country to avoid being killed, of course we will ensure that they are allowed in. No, we will not detain them. Read more

Anifah: Malaysia will keep raising plight of Rohingyas at UN, OIC meetings

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 6 — Malaysia will continue to raise the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar at the United Nations and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

He said Malaysia would not stop looking into all possibilities to stop further escalation of violence against Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state after Asean failed to address the issue efficiently.

“I think Asean can no longer handle this issue. Within Asean, I have given up hope. We had seven meetings, and Malaysia had expressed our concerns to Myanmar and they (Myanmar) promised to address the concern.

“Until today, nothing has been done. Therefore, Malaysia may raise it at other levels, like the United Nations and OIC,” he said when asked to comment if Malaysia would bring up the issue of the continuing violence against the Rohingya at this month’s United Nations General Assembly. Read more

Respect Malaysian laws in return for hospitality, Suhakam tells Rohingyas

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today that Rohingya refugees must respect and adhere to local laws, in return for the country’s compassion and hospitality.

The commission also insisted that violent protesters lose any protection afforded to them under the right to peaceful assembly and the police shall act against them, after a street protest on Wednesday that saw several protesters arrested.

Despite that, the commission said it still believes that everybody has the right of peaceful assembly on the basis of Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that is also guaranteed in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

“This right is constitutionally guaranteed for Malaysians in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution,” the commission’s chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said in a statement. Read more

Suhakam chief: Rohingyas ‘stretching’ sympathy with street protest

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) chairman had reportedly criticised the Rohingyas for taking to the streets to protest the unrest in Myanmar on Wednesday.

Singapore’s Channel News Asia quoted Tan Sri Razali Ismail as saying that the Rohingyas “shouldn’t have stretched” the sympathy they have by holding a street demonstration, which reportedly turned violent.

He said instead the protesters should have used the proper channel in “an orderly fashion”.

“There’s a lot of sympathy for Rohingyas here but they shouldn’t have stretched it … I wish they would make representation to the government in an orderly fashion. I do not think taking to the streets in a foreign country is the way out,” he said. Read more

Calls for better regional effort to stop influx of Rohingya

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Human rights groups claim the outflow of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar can only be controlled through greater regional cooperation.

Responding to a statement yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, several human rights groups claimed a durable solution to the refugee crisis can only come about if there was a greater sharing of responsibilities by countries near Myanmar.

Zahid, who is also Home Minister, had said the Malaysian government would not arbitrarily issue the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) card to Rohingya refugees as it wanted to better manage their influx into the country.

“Our priority is our people and their welfare. It is not that we are not being humanitarian. I think the international community should show concern for the plight of the Rohingyas,” Zahid had said, but added that Malaysia did not wish to be a receiving country for Rohingya refugees whenever there were problems in Myanmar. Read more

DPM denies arbitrary issuance of UNHCR card for Rohingyas

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — Malaysia will not arbitrarily issue the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) card to the Rohingyas who have sought refuge in the country, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said this was to avoid Malaysia and its people from being overburdened with a flood of Rohingyas fleeing the ethnic clashes in Myanmar.

The decision to deny arbitrary granting of the refugee card to the Rohingyas had the cooperation of the UNHCR itself, he said to reporters after handing over sacrificial cows for Aidiladha in his parliamentary constituency of Bagan Datuk, here, today.

“Our priority is our people and their welfare. It is not that we are not being humanitarian. I think the international community should show concern for the plight of the Rohingyas,” he said. Read more

Shahidan: No privileges for Rohingya children born in Malaysia

Source: Astro Awani

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will not give special privileges to children of Rohingya refugees born in Malaysia, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

He said this group of people comprising United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) cardholders, however, could move freely in Peninsular Malaysia, were free to practise their culture and religious faith, received a 50-per cent discount at government hospitals compared to other foreigners, besides having access to private education.

Nonetheless, he said, UNHCR cardholders found to have committed offences in this country would face the law.

“The government does not recognise the refugee status of the ethnic Rohingya minority as Malaysia is not a signatory to the (United Nations) 1951 Convention related to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. Read more

No plans to introduce assimilation programme for Rohingya

Source: FMT News 

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has no plans to introduce a programme for Rohingya refugees to assimilate with the locals, says an Umno minister.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim said at present the refugees were issued with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) cards.

“If we introduce an assimilation programme, it means that we have the intention to give them citizenship.

“And if we open the floodgates, I am sure others will also want to come here,” he said. Read more

Fundraising event to help empower Myanmar women refugees in Malaysia Read

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: A four-day fundraising event called Unsung Heroines is being held to support displaced Myanmar women refugees in Malaysia.

Human rights non-governmental organisation Tenaganita said this event follows the success of another fund raising campaign – Project Tanma – which is run by and for Myanmar women refugees.

Set up in 2010, Project Tanma develops projects and activities through handicraft, fair trade, empowerment and livelihood programmes.

“Tanma Federation is really a women-based organisation where the (refugee) women is in charge of the decision making process from start to finish.

“Ideally, we would like to raise enough money to sustain ourselves for the upcoming year because all profits made from products sold come back to the women,” Tanma coordinator Ophelie Grasset told The Star Online on Friday. Read more

Sold into marriage: How Rohingya girls become child brides in Malaysia

Source: Reuters via The Malay Mail Online

Under Islamic law, Muslim girls under 16 can marry with permission from the Shariah court, though in the case of the Rohingya marriages in Malaysia there is no court involvement. — Reuters pic

Under Islamic law, Muslim girls under 16 can marry with permission from the Shariah court, though in the case of the Rohingya marriages in Malaysia there is no court involvement. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — The slight girl in a turquoise headscarf held back tears as she recalled what happened when she fled to Malaysia from Myanmar’s violence-hit Rakhine state. Just 12-years-old at the time, she was forced to wed a man she did not know, and who was more than a decade older than her.

The teenager, who is not being named by Reuters because she is still only 13, is like hundreds of Rohingya girls escaping persecution, violence and apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine, only to be sold into marriage to Rohingya men in neighbouring Malaysia, migrant groups and community members said.

Separated from her family while escaping to Malaysia, she said she was caught by traffickers and held for weeks in a filthy and brutal jungle camp near the Thai-Malaysian border with dozens of others. Her captors told her a Rohingya man was willing to give her freedom if she agreed to marry him.

“The (trafficking) agent said I had been sold to a man and I asked, how could do they do that?… My heart was heavy and I was scared,” the girl said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur. Read more