KUALA LUMPUR, June 20, 2015;
The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) today commemorated the 2015 World Refugee Day.
Themed “with courage let us all combine”, it depicted and recognised the resilience of forcibly displaced people around the world due to human rights crises.
Suhakam Chairman, Tan Sri Hasmy Agam stated that the commemoration of this year’s event signifies the Malaysian Government’s efforts to respect and protect the non-debatable right to life.
“Refugees are not economic migrants but are persons who are outside their own country and are unable or unwilling to return due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”
He also appraised the governments decision to provide temporary shelter for up to 7,000 boat people fleeing persecution for one year on condition that the international community would help with repatriation, after initially turning them away.
“The Commission welcomes this humanitarian gesture but opines that the problem remains intractable with impermanent steps.
“The Commission is deeply concerned with the continuing refugee crisis, resulting in loss of lives and the registered refugee and asylum-seeker population in Malaysia reaching 153,004 as at May 2015.”
Hasmy also stated that the Commission is also alarmed with allegations of complicity, corruption and involvement of Malaysian law enforcement officials in the trafficking and smuggling of migrants and refugees.
“The Commission has been called on to conduct an inquiry in respect of these human rights concerns in line with its statutory powers.
“While the Commission deliberates, it urges the Government to immediately take firmer steps to address this humanitarian crisis in a dignified and humane manner, notwithstanding Parliament’s recent rejection of a motion to discuss the plight of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants stranded at our shores.
“As this humanitarian and security crisis affects a number of Asean states including Malaysia, the Commission urges the Government to call on the Asean governments to confront issues concerning the legal status of these stateless refugees immediately.
He also stressed for Malaysia to play a leadership role in its capacity as Chair of Asean despite the fact that the country is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention to generate regional and international commitment with respect to international human rights law, international refugee law, international humanitarian law and the law of the sea.
Source : http://www.therakyatpost.com