Pandemic has left many countries less welcoming to refugees, survey finds


PETALING JAYA: The Covid-19 crisis has left Malaysians less welcoming towards refugees compared to pre-pandemic times, a study has found.

Market research company Ipsos' findings showed that 82% of Malaysians polled want the country's borders closed to refugees.

The research was based on an online survey conducted among 19,510 adults aged 16 to 74 between May 21 and June 4.

However, the research noted that Malaysia is not the only country to be less welcoming towards refugees.

Research by Ipsos showed 67% of Turkish citizens polled said they prefer their country's borders to be closed to refugees.

Other countries less receptive towards refugees include South Korea at 42%, Britain (42%), Australia (35%), the United States (35%), India (32%) and Japan (26%).

At the same time, the survey also found that citizens around the world disagreed with their government spending on refugees.

"With governments across the world fighting to limit the financial impact of the pandemic, citizens across the world do not consider spending on supporting refugees a priority," Ipsos said.

In the research, Turkey has the highest rate of disagreement on spending public money on refugees with 60%, followed by Malaysia (44%), Britain (39%), the United States (32%), Australia (31%), South Korea (29%), India (27%) and Japan (18%).

Ipsos Public Affairs associate director Lars Erik Lie said refugee acceptance is a highly contentious issue in most countries even during normal times.

With borders closed caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, he noted, the world has become an even less welcoming place for refugees.

"Malaysians are strongly in favour of keeping the borders completely closed to refugees, representing a sharp shift compared to 2019, before the pandemic.

"Across the world, citizens prefer their countries to be less open to refugees, and the financial strains caused by the pandemic put assistance to refugees lower on the agenda than before," he said in a statement on Wednesday (June 23).

Turkey hosts the most refugees in the world, with data by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) showing there are four million refugees residing in the country, 3.6 million of whom are Syrian refugees.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Nation

Annuar Musa says visiting cemeteries allowed after social media furore
Pikas centre in Seberang Jaya to close temporarily due to vaccine shortage
Police to call up wedding planner over SOP violation
Jawi uses backhoes to speed up funeral process for Covid-19 victims
Twenty-one localities in Terengganu, two areas in Sabah under EMCO from Aug 3-16
Covid-19: Sarawak sees new spike in infections with 578 cases on Sunday (Aug 1)
Harsh treatment of young female activists unacceptable, says MCA
Love scam: Woman loses RM11,700 to pay for ‘Covid-19 quarantine, treatment costs’
Kelantan Sultan allows palace to be used as vaccination centre
Shafie hopes King, Conference of Rulers will intervene over postponement of Parliament sitting

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers