Home Ministry may issue special pass to Syrian stuck in transit in KLIA2

  • Nation
  • Friday, 13 Apr 2018

PUTRAJAYA: The Syrian man who has been stranded at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) for over a month may be allowed to stay temporarily in Malaysia, provided he passes a thorough security vetting process, said Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

The Deputy Home Minister said his ministry was aware of Hassan al Kontar's case that has gone viral on social media.

“The ministry will consider issuing the man a special pass but under the Syrian Refugee Programme here which has been running for over two years.

“There are currently over 3,000 refugees under the programme.

“He has to be vetted first to ensure there is nothing wrong with his background in his home country,” he told reporters after launching the Immigration Day and Excellence Service Award ceremony here on Friday.

He said they needed to be cautious when considering these matters especially when dealing with people from the Middle East.

“We do not want to let any Islamic State threats into our country,” he said.

Reuters reported that a 36-year-old Syrian has been stuck in transit in the Malaysian capital for more than a month.

Stranded at KLIA2, Kuala Lumpur's budget terminal, Hassan has been posting videos blogs of his daily life on Twitter and Facebook, and this has attracted the attention of human rights groups and the media.

Hassan, who said he had been living at the airport since March 7, fears arrest if he is sent back to Syria, where a civil war has been raging for seven years.

US President Donald Trump warned this week of imminent military action in Syria over a suspected poison gas attack.

“I am afraid of being deported to Syria, not because I'm a coward, not because I don't know how to fight, but because I don't believe in fighting,” he told Reuters via Skype.

“I don't want to be a killing machine, destroying my own home and harming my own people”.

The UN refugee agency confirmed meeting Hassan, but said it could not comment on individual cases.

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