KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will be issuing a special identification card for the 3,000 Syrian refugees it will be accepting into the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Home Ministry, will facilitate the arrival of the refugees based on current laws through the Immigration Department.
"Usually the UNHCR will work with the International Organisation of Migrants (IOM) to issue cards for the refugees that enter Malaysia.
"This time, we will issue iKad for the refugees. The iKad will have security elements embedded into the card for the use of the Immigration Department," he told a press conference after the Special Asean Ministerial Meeting on the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (SAMMRRAVE) here Friday.
At the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced that Malaysia would open its doors to 3,000 Syrian migrants over the next three years to help alleviate the refugee crisis.
About four million Syrian refugees have fled into neighbouring countries since the start of the civil war there in 2011.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia's move to accept 3,000 Syrian refugees over the next three years was based on a humanitarian basis, without regard for religious or political stands.
"Malaysia had experience with this before when we accepted refugees from Bosnia, and we were not only praised for it, but the gesture paid off eventually,” said Dr Ahmad Zahid.
He added that many Bosnian refugees who studied here during that period are now holding major positions in various fields, back in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"They contributed to Malaysia's efforts to bringing up our good work on an international level," he said.
Asked when the Syrian refugees will be arriving and where will they be placed, Dr Ahmad Zahid said that will be discussed with Najib first.
"We have not gone into the details yet. We are thinking of working with the private sector to help place them, give the refugee children an education and also to provide temporary jobs until they are able to return to Syria," he said.