“Burmese Refugees Arrested In Malaysia”

researcher Theng,

About 100 Burmese refugees were arrested by Rela and Immigration raids on 09 Nov 2008.


They were identified as Rohingya refugees from Burma. The sources said, “most of them are UNHCR recognized card holder refugees and some of them are yet to be registered with UNHCR if UNHCR opened new registration of its refugees”.


The sources also added, “ they were separately arrested as 22 persons from Peneng, 3 persons from Puchong Permai- at the morning, 36 persons from Balakong– at the evening 5:00pm, others from Kajang and Kuantan. Some of them were sent to Malacca detention camp and 3 from Puchong Permai were remaining in Puchong police lock-up. During this week, the raids targeted the Rohingya refugees as they needed to find out the encouragement between UNHCR and enforcement authorities. The authorities are likely to be angry on UNHCR’s mis-informing of UNHCR card holder Rohingy refugees would be allowed to worked, stayed and protected here- according to the result from the twice times meeting with official enforcement director in Selayang. Again, 3 Rohingya refugees were arrested from Kajang  on 11 Nov 2008”.


A local authority from Selayang said, “even though we are helping refugees by allowing to work at the market or not, they already working illegally where hard to get locals. When their status was creating a numerous problems and UN agency has lack to provide assistances, we have the need to solve kindly. That is why we encouraged and had having meeting with UNHCR, Municipal and local community. But the agency must not violate the enforcement’s rules to clarify illegals. For eg, enforcement authority has the right to arrest anyone who absent to prove the document which issued by immigration department, even to any local who absent to show Malaysian-IC. You people have to prove graphically, but not by verbally”.


An arrestee family’s member said, “I am very confused to understand that why our custody UNHCR staffs had have mis-informing to us when visited to Selayang, Cheras, and Ampang. If we were informed the real status and conditions, it would be able to help to avoid from the raids. At least, we had been beaten inhumanly and threaten by locals. Now, our people were arrested again and again, UNHCR is likely disposing us into the circle of’”.


An activist explained that once return or local integration is being unavailable option, the 3rd option of relocation to its signatory country is only a way of safety net for long-standing Rohingya refugees. Their right to meet international obligation may not be violated or deprived. A legal restriction of restriction emotionally against sharing international obligation, should be adopted soon by international community.






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