Friday, March 18, 2016

Possibility refugees can gain employment in MALAYSIA

High-level government committee looking into five areas refugees could be hired, namely in sectors deemed “appropriate, safe and easily monitored” by the authorities.


PETALING JAYA: A high-level government committee will meet stakeholders to discuss the possibility of permitting refugees in the country to be employed.

Quoting sources, the New Straits Times (NST) reported that the committee will look into five areas where foreigners accorded refugee status by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), could be hired, namely in sectors deemed “appropriate, safe and easily monitored” by the authorities.

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It is believed the committee will look at reviving a shelved pilot project between, among others, the Human Resources and Home Ministries involving the issuance of special employment permits, especially for the Rohingyas.

“If the plan goes through and the refugees are allowed to work, law enforcers will be able to weed out the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants carrying fake UNHCR card,” the daily wrote.

The paper also quoted Immigration Director-General Sakib Kusmi as stating the Cabinet had considered allowing UNHCR cardholders to work in the country.

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Meanwhile in a statement issued to the NST, the Malaysian chapter of the UN body said it was open to having a database for those whose presence here it had sanctioned, and make the database accessible to the authorities.

UNHCR said it was convinced the best way to manage the issue of criminality was to find a common registration system, where it, along with the government could identify the protection needs of refugees.

“We believe that a scheme allowing genuine refugees to be registered in Malaysia, including the opportunity to work lawfully, will have a remarkable and positive impact on both quality of protection for refugees and help the government address its legitimate concerns about criminality and security that pervade the lives of all undocumented migrants in Malaysia,” the statement read.

UNHCR also said it had invested heavily in tightening procedures and ensuring the integrity of its documents were not easily compromised.

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Yesterday the NST reported that fake UNHCR cards, complete with security features, could be easily obtained for a mere RM120.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim also hit out at the world refugee orqanisation over the issuance of refugee cards, claiming it was the reason Malaysia was flooded with immigrants.

The minister also alleged the international body had never bothered to consult the government before issuing the said documents.

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