UNHCR in Malaysia refuses the registration of undocumented Rohingya refugees

By Theng,

It has been widely known that the data collection of Rohingya refugees was began at the Football Stadium of Cheras from the 1st Nov 2012.

The refugees said they believed it was the first time ever in the history the office had taken wider step for registration of undocumented Rohingya refugees. The UNHCR representative Mr. Allan and senior staff Ms. Elly were cooperated in the process and worked up to midnight 24:00pm. The Rohingyas spent 5 days and nights where clashes and abuses were took place in the meantime. The Refugees got the token first and their bio-data were taken secondly.

Within a week the bio-data of about 10,000 Rohingyas have been collected.

“However, no identity or Letter was issued like before and how twist on the season of international tracks”, a refugee said.
Soon after a week on 8th Nov, even the data collection process has been discontinued. Many women and children who travelled from farer regions and spent days and nights had to leave with tears.

The UNHCR staffs claimed that the regional authority and some member of local NGOs unexpectedly came to interfere on its work thereupon the representative had decided to close the process.
But a member of NGOs said they just kindly suggested the UNHCR office to approach the current crises of Rohingya and prioritize their plights that mean Rohingya refugees should be issued registration or protection identity first. Because the staffs were busying with other ethnic refugees who are recognized in Burma.

In regard to assist in registration process, some Rohingya refugee leaders approached to the UNHCR office but they had been asked to leaved from the premise.

There are more than ten thousands undocumented Rohingya refugees are await for UNHCR’s mercy. Some have been nearly 3 decades without identity and still facing occasional abuses of extortion, arrest and detention. Despite UNHCR ID card holder refugees are not bounded for arrest and detention from year 2009, the enforcement authority still arrest the refugees in case found in working.
The Sail received one of the female Rohingya, Ms. Jamilah who is living in Johor Baru since 1985 was arrested during she was working at the bazaar on 9 Nov 2012. She showed the token card she received newly from recent bio-data collection process. But the enforcement immigration authority who came to raid the bazaar did not approached her appeal and hand-cuffed her. On the spot she fell down to unconscious and sent to mental hospital and blocked from meeting with her family. Two days after on the 11 of November, she was transferred to Pakan Nenas detention centre. The shop owner explained the authority about Jamilah’s has suffered heart-attack from the past five years but the authority just sent her to the mental hospital and placed together with insane people.

In the raid, about 30 other nationalities were arrested and sent to the Pakan Nenas that is one of the farest southern detention of Malaysia and it is unusual for UNHCR visit.

UNHCR has previously denied to corporate with refugee leaders, as well as, the leaders have been occasionally blamed for Rohingya refugees departing to find a safe place via Indonesian waters. In deed, Rohingyas have been isolated from other refugees and discriminated in resettlement, registration processes. Therefore, no matter how risk and whatever policy changes, the number of Rohingya refugee arrivals in Australia by boats  is slowly rising year by year from 2006.

After the Pacific Solution was approved in Australia from 13 Aug, more than 300 Rohingyas refugees involving mostly families and children were arrived by 4 different boats. Do or die now they are moving together..

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