Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rohingya Refugees at a Glance in Malaysia

By Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee (RARC)

More than 35000 Rohingya refugees are languishing in Malaysia. Of them around 23000 are persons of concern to the UNHCR. The reset are passing vulnerable life in this country.

Most of the Rohingya refugees live in Selangor State, which is closed to Kuala Lumpur city and Pinang State.

Some remarkable Rohingyar refugees are living in Alor Setar in Kedah State, Juhor Baru, Pahang, Teranganu and Kelantan States.


65 % of the Rohingya refugees work in construction site in Pinang, Selangor, Kedah, Teranguanu, Kelantan, Phang and Juhor Baru.

15% are working garbage and drainage cleaning sectors, 10% are working on grass cutting, 3% are working in different sectors of security guards, plantation, metal or dustbin collection and etc. 2% are disabled by accidents, severe sickness and etc. 5% are unemployed.

RM 20 (local currency) may be estimated as an average income.


Among 23000 Rohingya refugees, 2211 are below 4 years old children, 2328 are below 11 years old and 1544 are below 17 years old children.

Less then 40% of the Rohingya refugee children are enrolling in different informal education sectors, mostly pursuing basic religious studies. Rests of the children are being under exploitation. They are being engaged in begging and child labor.

There are only 7 education sectors, running by local NGOs in collaboration with the UNHCR, while not a single Rohingya child is allowed in any Government and Semi-Government school.


In addition, 70% of the Rohingya refugees are suffering from psychological problems, while 15%+ are suffering from Cardiac (heart disease), 10% are suffering from renal stone, urinary tract infection, gastritis and 5 % remains unknown.

There is no any specific clinic for the Rohingya refugees. They have to pay unbearable fee for their normal medication. Every UNHCR ID Card holding Rohingya refugees would be RM 15 in every visit at Government Health Center, RM 30 in Government Hospitals and RM 50+ at private clinic.

UNHCR Statistics
As of end January 2012, there are some 97,000 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in Malaysia.

-         Some 88,500 are from Myanmar, comprising some 34,400 Chins, 23,000 Rohingyas, 10,500 Myanmar Muslims, 4,600 Rakhine, 3,800 Mon, 3,300 Kachins and other ethnicities from Myanmar.

-    There are some 8,200 refugees and asylum-seekers from other countries, including some 4,400 Sri Lankans, 1,000 Somalis, 770 Iraqis and 440 Afghans, and others from other countries.

-         71% of refugees and asylum-seekers are men, while 29% are women. There are some 19,700 children below the age of 18.

-         There are also a large number of persons of concern to UNHCR who remain unregistered.

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