Monday, July 27, 2015

Shahidan says refugees must go through Immigration, not UNHCR



KUALA LUMPUR, July 25, 2015


Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim has expressed his disappointment at the number of Rohingya refugees in the country who only aim to get UNHCR cards without going through Immigration. — Reuters/Antara Foto pic

Immigrants that enter the country must go through Immigration and not just aim to get their refugee cards from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim expressed his disappointment at the number of Rohingya refugees in the country who only aimed to get UNHCR cards without going through Immigration.

“The Rohingyas that enter the country without their passports will be categorised as illegal immigrants (PATI), but they end up going to the UNHCR office to get their refugee cards without the knowledge of the Home Ministry,” he said at his Hari Raya open house function today.

He said if the matter continued, Malaysia would be the main destination for those who flee their countries.

“The cost of RM6.50 a day is also being absorbed by the Home Ministry and their presence is a burden.”

He said Malaysia on humanitarian grounds allowed these people to stay in the country temporarily before they were deported back or to another country.

“We must remember that UNHCR card holders enjoy privileges like unrestricted movement and free from being detained unless involved in crime.

“They are also not deported unless they volunteer to go back.

“According to UNHCR statistics, as of April 30, there are 152,832 refugees in Kuala Lumpur from 23 countries.

Of these, refugees from Myanmar were the most at 138,775, and 45,170 of them were Rohingyas.