Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Press Release: Redress the Rights of Refugees in Malaysia

Date: November 12, 2014

On behalf of the entire Rohingya people both in home and exile, we at the Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee (RARC), Malaysia warmly salutes the proactive plan and welcome the recent decision to issue cards for the registered refugees of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malaysia.

We express our sincere gratitude towards His Excellency Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamid, the Honorable Minister for Home Affairs of Malaysia for taking initiatives towards the betterment of Burmese refugees in Malaysia.

We also appreciate the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), particularly His Excellency Dr. Volker Turk, the Director of the International Protection in Geneva who managed to come through for having this proactive decision.

We believe that this is the right step in preventing suspicious crimes of refugees and asylum seekers while documenting entire persons of concern of UNHCR in Government records with a view to letting them chance to survive with International Living Standard and employment mechanisms that were set forth by the International Labor Organization (ILO) which was also ratified by the Government of Malaysia.

In the other hand, we have noticed that an unreliable accusation “The muddy floods and landslides which occurred in Kampung Raja, Pekan Ringlet and the Bertam Valley in Cameron Highlands last Wednesday had claimed five lives and caused over 90 victims from 28 families to be evacuated to relief centre in Ringlet”, against persecuted and vulnerable Rohingya refugees was raised which made us shock.

Indeed, we don’t have any information about such number of Rohingya in Cameron Highlands, which number may be very few in our estimation. Most of these people in Cameron Highlands might be from Bangladesh, Nepal and other ethnic races from Burma. We do doubt that non-Rohingya populations are using the UNHCR Cards with fabricated Rohingya identity which effecting on the image of Rohingya refugees. In this regard, we request all level authorities of the Government of Malaysia to conduct urgent investigation and to take necessary remedies against the culprits as the act is very crucial and against humanity.

In identifying the Rohingya, our organization is very much eager to co-operate the Government authorities, not only in Cameron Highlands but also in other parts of Malaysia.

On the other hand, we are very much hopeful that the UNHCR would be able pave a vital role in identification process and implementing the plans, while using the international tools in resolving refugee phenomena through any needful mandates.

In addition, the Rohingya people are considered as one of the most persecuted people of the world, while they are unwanted in anywhere. Thus, registration, protection and refugee status determination are a must under the office of the UNHCR. So, we are highly expected that the UNHCR would take the matter of Rohingya in the list of priority in order to ensure their protection and to settle their longstanding problems.

Coordinating Committee
Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee (RARC)

For further contact:
Mr. Mohammad Sadek, Program Coordinator, RARC
Tel: +60163094599

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