KUALA LUMPUR: Refugees living in Malaysia have increased steadily since 2010, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim.
As of September this year, the number of refugees currently residing in the country stands at 150,226.
Of the total, more than 90% of them are from Myanmar, Shahidan noted.
“This is based on statistics from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the number of refugee applications it approved between 2010 and September 2016 according to country of origin and gender.
“There are no records on the number of applications that were rejected, and the period of time they stayed in Malaysia,” the minister said in a written reply to Er Teck Hwa (DAP-Bakri) in the Dewan Rakyat Thursday.
Based on the figures, the number of refugees from most countries had seen a sharp increase in the last six years, from 92,158 in 2010 to a record 156,342 in the year ending 2015.
Besides Myanmars, the refugees were Sri Lankans, Syrians, Pakistanis, Somalis and Palestinians.
The number of Syrian refugees in the country saw a spike from 70 in 2012 to 822 in 2013, and increased further to 1,314 last year.
Meanwhile, the number of male refugees more than doubled females on a yearly basis, with latest figures indicating 93,408 men compared to 41,878 women.