Burma’s First Refugees in Malaysia would be Exempted from Australia Intake 4,000 Burmese Refugees

By James,

As we heard, the recent Australia-Malaysia controversial agreement which would send back 800 unwanted boat people to Malaysia from Australia. In return, Australia will resettle 4,000 Burmese refugees hosting in Malaysia.

Following to official agreement, cases of those 800 persons would be processed in Malaysia. But no question for their plights once Australia reluctant to process them in its own territory. Despite UN human rights commissioner criticized the deal violates international laws and Malaysia has no mechanism to protect their rights and dignity, UNHCR and its partner IOM are ready to corporate to explore their projects .

According to the Australian immigration minister repeated speeches and the agreement clause 1(2), those intake 4,000 refugees are mandated Burmese refugees who have been determined to be genuine refugees by UNHCR and awaiting to resettle in third countries. The clause 7(2) stated that Australia will arrange to resettle this 4,000 persons over four years at a rate of approximately 1,000 person per year.

It indirectly means non-Rohingya refugees. Therefore stateless Rohingya Burmese refugees who are defined as the world most oppressed group and repressed again in host country, would be unfortunately excluded from this quota. Because they have not been issued mandated refugee identities despite Rohingyans are the earliest Burmese refugee group in Malaysia and the first refugees of Burma as well. 

Rohingya refugees would be continuously miginalized by their actor. Historically, there is no queue in resettlement processing so how the Australian prime minister could persuade it while no queue-line is organized in its own Australian detentions.  So, the thesis which refer those 800 unwanted boat people to be to line-up is a bit doubt and would shock for them.

Because of Rohingya refugees were not issued mandated refugee identities by UNHCR, what they received documents are registration identities and having difference from the other refugees. Please see the differences between Rohingyan and non-Rohingyan refugee IDs.

UNHCR ID issued for Rohingya Refugees in Malaysia

(1)As seen, the sophisticated word the ‘Bin’ instead of s/o(son of), was installed in only IDs of Rohingyas from later 2002 by suggestion that Rohingyas are living in Malay-Muslim society and that would easy them. In the rear, it is spontaneously branding them to be seen as a link relation to terror group after the consequences of 9/11 posts. While the ‘Bin’ word is never found in IDs of non-Rohingyas.

(2)At the back of Rohingyan ID, stating in Malay language that the person is a Myanmar Muslim and living temporarily in Malaysia until a time when he can return to with its status as a safe country of origin.

UNHCR ID issued for non-Rohingya refugees

But stating for non-Rohingyan is that the person is a refugee by the UNHCR mandate from Myanmar and waiting to resettle in a third country.

As you see in the picture, the first time Rohingya received UNHCR letters in 1992 had not used the ‘bin’ word.

UNHCR letter issued for Rohingya refugees in 1992

It is clear how UNHCR played doubled standard role. The refugee agency has able to pave international solution for those refugees who are recognized by Burmese government and enable to return home. While those unrecognized and unable to return home refugees are let to be languished in limbo. It is also revealed that oppressed Rohingya refugees are variously exploited again by concern quarters while they are subjected to human rights abuses in host country. On the fact of concern quarter’s such plots, it is the part that the host country doesn’t willing to recognize their plights . 

That was why the first memorandum submission by area based Rohingya refugee representatives on 3 Dec 2008, demanded to issue mandated refugee identity and to remove the word- ‘bin’ from their identities. Since then, based on their demands a few hundreds Rohingya refugees have been renewed mandated refugee card.

However, The Sail still find that the written at the back of those newly issued IDs are different from the other mandated refugee cards despite it is written to be mandated refugee card.

There is no doubt that they would be languish continuously in uncertain limbo like the past decade. Therefore, UNHCR should issue mandated refugee identities for Rohingyans as the same issued to non-Rohingyas.

Australian government must engage UNHCR to prioritize longer refugees first in its intake quota.

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  • eliyas@gmail.com  On August 9, 2011 at 1:20 am

    The Sail, why not explain about the code 512 and 354 which is meaningfully related to type of UNHCR’s solutions given for refugees.
    I will explain here; 512 to means fight for first and second option, 354 means fight for option third.
    Any future, 442 or 244 will be replaced for 512 because it’s direction turn to force for second option.
    Wait and see the next…

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