An activist from Malaysia had sent a letter to us. In his mail ….Dear the sail, I hope you will reserve acc to freedom of expression due to others quarters need information.
As we know, All refugees were recognized as illegals in Malaysia. But non-Muslim refugees are the most prioritized in the process of permanent protection through relocation in 3rd country, whether our custody practices discrimination role or not.
In peninsular Malaysia, four decades ruler BN party is very keen to recognize the long standing Rohingya refugees, but the recognition of-‘refugees’ rights must be protected’ in the host was deprived by enforcement authorities; they yet own UNHCR ID card and remains as illegal refugees; their children are not allowed to go to the public school. For the matter of the country has no legislation for refugees and as an un-signatory country, it had early called to the agency UNHCR to settle its refugees through relocation to its signatory countries. The host also pointed out to signatory country refusing to receive refugees.
Burma rulers declared officially that Rohingyas are not its citizens nor ethnic group. Therefore, “the host government tried to share temporary status through issuing Imm-13 in the year of 2006 as migrant workers-targeting to repatriate them”, is not welcomed to Rohingya community. As, they should be solved permanently according to refugees conventions and in regard of their critic condition in Burma.
The Borneo born refugees in Sabah state have been displaced twice times and wrangled many times, is a remarkable and terrible plight. That sent shock signal to Rohingya community in Malaysia. UNHCR therefore required to treat equally in the context of resettlement quota, to include Rohingya refugees without further delay. Their rights would not be exploited by planning any-more artificial strategics.
Refugee programme took place in KL on 26 Jan 2006. Over 50 participants partners had been presented there, mainly UNHCR, SUHAKAM, The Bar Council, Civil Societies, Academia and Human Rights Groups. Ironic in the joint planning was that unless caution of tandem affects, they all decided to embark according to a new overall strategy-2004s paved by UNHCR-Malaysia.
After submitted a proposal by various quarters, Prime Minister department’s minister Md Zin Abdul Hamid had been handled as an in-charge for the management of Imm-13 project. The process of registration started on 01st Aug 2006. Before the process, authentic minister Md Zin had secretly managed to receive benefit for his commitment towards this project. The Rohingya community leaders who could monitor the Imm-13 process, is therefore responsible to provide this benefit amount for the minister. But minister had proposed that this benefit not to come from Rohingyas. Then, they agreed to define the rate 90RM for levy, 50 RM for agent and 20 RM for transportation.
According to minister’s separate convocation, there were mainly 3 groups to run the process. They are; RIC, CRIPDO, Zarul. RIC was led by Mr Sawmi Ullah who became Malaysian from Bangladeshi passport holder. CRIPDO organization was newly founded for Imm-13 project and led by Mr Mustafa, an occasional Rohingya refugee leader having closed link with the relatives of prime minister department. Zarul is a Malay Datuk and who currently handles outsourcing from various countries therefore he assigned Mr Jalal leader of ORSM to handle it. Due to Mr Sawmi Ullah(RIC) has good relation with ABIM’s president. He gained more communication with the minister and unavoidably agreed to provide the minister expected amount. But this certain amount would be came from substitution of thousand Bangladeshi people.
Mr Sawmi Ullah reformed his organization RIC with new bodies, mostly replaced persons who are zealot in careerist and promised to benefit each of its members. Thus, we found Bangladeshis, Burmese migrant workers were among the group. When the process started in KLIA immigration detention camp, there were many agencies and brokers took place in monitoring. Of those Bangladeshis-brought by RIC were captured by immigration staffs and other Rohingya leaders. At least 50 Bangladeshis and hundred non-Rohingyas were captured within 3 working days and RIC members were insulted for that. So, Mr Sawmi Ullah felt unhealthy and broke the promise kept with the minister. Consequences of that the minister kicked out the RIC by giving various reasons.
Finally, Mr Sawmi Ullah had despatched an open complaint letter to Home Minister of Malaysia and copy to Prime Minister, Anti-Corruption Agency, and SUHAKAM, on 13 Aug 2006. Tactically, the complaint letter was signed by Mr. Abdul Ghani@ Malay Lalu(deputy director, and public relation & organizing of RIC), and approved by 34 members of EC.
When the process stopped on 15 Aug 2006, about 3000 Rohingya refugees registered and others were believed to be non-Rohingyas. Because contracted groups had encouraged more on others in the respect of its benefits. Moreover, most of Rohingya refugees did not participate in this tempo- solution process and the problems with fees is high for family holders. Yet, Rohingya refugees aware on problems creating, mis-leading and mis-answering remain in RIC. Unfortunately, UNHCR-Malaysia holds and supports RIC. The suffering refugees always said that those leaders had never been arrested or suffered or treated inhumanly. So, that they don’t sympathy on them. They survive on Rohingyas and they mis-attained benefits on behalf of Rohingyas. They are very familiar with UNHCR and authorities.
ABIM allowed a space for RIC had been made the RIC leaders to collect money for Imm-13 as early as two months before the start of the process. That gained more trusts of Rohingyas and collected 150 to 350-RM from each of at least 5,000 Rohingyas. During RIC accessed for five days, it had managed Imm-13 receipts for less than thousand persons. The rest of those collected money from vulnerable Rohingyas were not return to them and exploited it. Hereupon, RIC’s president Mr Sawmi Ullah was expelled forcefully by its members.
Zarul is a respected Datuk and gave the contract to Mr Jalal leader of ORSM and an ex-convict. However, Zarul ensured ORSM to guide fairly. And Jalal had invited some active Rohingya youth into his organization that lead no corruption was occurred. Its active youth who later separated from ORSM stressed that when the process was stopped, about 6,000-RM collected from Rohingyas in Penang-was kept by Mr Jalal but it was not paid back to them or used for his-own welfare.
Burmese Rohingya refugees were causally forced to spend in Malaysia. But it would be never happened as we expect. As, Malaysian government alone would be responsible at last. Creation of conspiracy is unseen-able as Malaysian government asked for the numbers of Rohingya refugees, concern quarters raised all numbers of hosting various refugees in Malaysia. And unclear miserable reasons remained for why did Malaysian government hand-over the project to individual and why did UNHCR play its role in verbal task. The worst is that concern quarters talking yet about the past about year-2004, but they are not allowed refugees to talk about the past.
Due to pressurizing by various quarters, the host enforcement authorities continued to sweep illegals, where refugees are also comprised. Hence, concern quarters’ mandate is just a task and failed to protect refugees even to provide legal-aid, and to prevent from uncertain deportation. It is also true that as a host country, how long it can allow refugees by hosting.
Finally, refugees continue to face various violations and concern quarters win strengthening bigger than bigger. It is also pointed as a main task of own interest.
Rohingya refugees in Malaysia also would like to urge the Women’s Commission for Refugee women & children‘s mission in Sept 2008- to reveal its recommendation. Because its commend to issue work permit to Rohingya population, is really really against with their plights. It had also mis-worded as Burmese Refugee Women Struggle To Make a Living in Malaysia. In my studied with Burmese Refugee Women group from KL, they were also suffering in similar and their statement was different.
Unfortunately, all of these ways are being a conspiracy to deprive Rohingya refugees’ rights which guaranteed in Refugees Convention. We are here to seek our rights but we fear the term integration into local through localization that would hinder our rights. This would be lead a gross human rights violation again.