KUALA LUMPUR: The government will review the status of refugees who are residing in Malaysia using the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cards, says Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin.
“The UNCHR cards used by them is something that sometimes we ourselves do not comprehend.
"The figure (the number of UNHCR card-holders) is supposed to have remained static, but it has increased over time.
“That is causing a problem in the country, as raised by Arau (Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim). We will leave this to Wisma Putra, and we will review their status in our country.
“They are also humans we should help, I agree with that. But let them have legitimate documents that we can accept, ” Hamzah said during his winding-up speech in Parliament on Tuesday (Aug 4).
He was responding to Shahidan, who said the presence of UNCHR in Malaysia was questionable, as in order for refugee cards to be issued, foreigners merely needed to be present at UNCHR’s office on Jalan Bellamy.
“Investigate the UNCHR card so it is not questionable, ” said Shahidan.
According to figures provided by the UNCHR, at the end of June this year, there are some 177,940 refugees and asylum seekers registered with the UNCHR in the country.
Malaysia is not a signatory to the 1951 International Convention on Refugees, which means the country has no legal or administrative framework governing refugee status or rights.
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