First batch of 300 refugees to be placed in selected companies

  • Nation
  • Friday, 03 Feb 2017

A protestor signs a banner put up at the Rohingya support rally here on Sunday. - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA: New hope has dawned for 300 Rohingya refugees in the country.

They can now work legally in the plantation and manufacturing sector from next month.

They have been selected to be part of a pilot project that allows the Rohingya, who are United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) card holders, to work in Malaysia.

“This first batch of 300 will be placed in selected companies in order to equip them with skills and a source of income before they are relocated to another country,” Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in a statement.

He said those selected would still have to pass security and health screenings first.

Yesterday, Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, chaired a high-level committee meeting on UNHCR-related issues at his office here.

He said the National Security Council (NSC) was currently looking to upgrade the NSC Order No. 23.

The order enhances the management of UNHCR card holders in Malaysia.

“The order needs to keep up with the current developments, including the irregular movement of migrants in South-East Asia,” he said.

NSC Order No. 23 is related to the management of illegal immigrants in Malaysia, and includes measures on how to reduce their numbers.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said the Government also formed a joint task force that consisted of the UNHCR and six ministries, to deal with the matter of fake UNHCR card holders.

“This (joint task force) will help ensure the authenticity of any UNHCR card holders; whether these people are truly those who are authorised,” he said.

The statement said there were a total of 149,474 documented UNHCR card holders from 62 countries in Malaysia.

At least 133,517 or 89% are from Myanmar, with more than 55,000 of them of Rohingya ethnicity.

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Government , unhcr , refugees , rohingya , zahid hamidi


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