Source from malaysiandigest.com, 8 June 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, 8 JUNE, 2011: Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar (pic) today said the government’s stand on the refugee issues should be parallel with the current situation to prevent the persecution of refugees.
Commenting on the agreement between Malaysia and Australia on the transfer of refugees, Nurul Izzah said Malaysia is not a member of the United Nation (UN) convention on the rights of refugees where no special protection will be provided to refugees by the government.
“Because Malaysia is not a signatory to the UN convention on the rights of refugees there is no recognition to those who are certified by the UNHCR refugee,” said Izzah in a press conference held at her office this morning.
She also referred to a case where a local woman who wants to marry a Burmese refugee named David but had to face Malaysian laws that prohibit citizens from marrying the refugees.
According to Nurul Izzah, the woman, Amirah Ismail has referred the matter to the religious department before this and was told that she can continue the marriage if her partner converts to Islam.
However, when Amirah referred the matter to the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN), she was told that under the Immigration Act 1959, refugees cannot get marry to the locals.
“The religious department said if David embraces Islam, then they can get married. Unfortunately, this country’s law prohibits its people to get married to a refugee.
“And since it is not a signatory to the UN convention on the rights of refugees, anyone without legal documentation to work in Malaysia even with UNHCR card is an illegal immigrant,” ,” said Nurul Izzah who is also PKR vice-president.
“So imagine what would happen when the refugees from Australia were later moved to Malaysia. There will be more problems,” she added.
Meanwhile Amirah who was present at the press conference with David whose new Muslim name is Mohd Daniel Abdullah said she really hopes that she and Daniel will be able to get married.
Amirah who has known Daniel for a year also told reporters that her partner who have been three years staying in Malaysia has embraced Islam even before they first met in May last year.
“When I referred this matter to JPN, they told me that it (her efforts to get government approval for marriage) is the responsibility of the religious department. But when I went to the religious department, they told me that I need to refer it to JPN,” said Amirah who works in a restaurant in Kelana Jaya.
Meanwhile Nurul Izzah who is handling the matter said she has discussed it with Suaram (Suara Rakyat Malaysia) which will be doing the necessary follow up.
“It is very sad to see this thing happening. We will follow up with the responsible department,” said Nurul Izzah.