False information spread by phone suggested they could obtain immigration cards if they applied for it today.
KUALA LUMPUR: A rumour circulated via phone calls and text messages brought more than one thousand immigrants to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) building in search of immigration cards.
The rumour that immigration cards would be given to those who applied for it today was spread last night prompting hordes of foreign men, women and children from all around the country including as far as Terengganu and Johor Bahru to make the trip to the city to put in their application papers.
“This is not a demonstration, they have only come here based on a rumour and as you can see the situation, it is quite calm,” a UNHCR representative said.
The immigrants who had appeared outside the UNHCR building had started gathering there as early as 12am this morning and at the time of reporting, had refused to disperse.
According to a security officer the group was small enough at first but swelled shortly after to about one thousand.
Those gathered were forced to leave by security personnel at 8am but attempted to come back in at 11am.
Some immigrants came to renew their existing immigration cards while others came to apply for new ones. However UNHCR refused entry to all of them.
“Its unfortunate that they wasted their time and money coming here,” said the representative, adding that an official statement by UNHCR would be issued soon on the matter.