PUTRAJAYA — April 30, 2020: Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin has made clear that Rohingya refugees have no status, right or basis to make demands on the Malaysian government.
In addition, any society that claims to represent the Rohingya in Malaysia is illegal because none is registered with the Registrar of Societies.
“Rohingya who are holders of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees cards have no status, rights or basis to make any claims on the government,” said Hamzah today.
Recently statements from the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation in Malaysia made certain demands from the Malaysian government, such as equal rights, job opportunities, access to public healthcare and education.
The demands triggered a negative reaction among Malaysians, with some urging the government to repatriate all Rohingya.
According to records as of last March, of the 179,521 UNHCR cardholders 101,584 were Rohingya.
Hamzah said the ministry was aware of the people’s concerns over issues involving Rohingya.
He further pointed out that since Malaysia is not party to the Refugee Convention 1951 or its Protocol, there is no legal or administrative framework to oversee the status and rights of refugees here.
But the Rohingya are allowed to live in Malaysia temporarily on humanitarian considerations until they are placed in a third country by the UNHCR.
Throughout the movement control order imposed since March 18, police have opened four investigation papers from the 19 reports received against the Rohingya.