‘We cannot imagine how are we going to survive if MCO continues,` says Rohingya in Malaysia



Thousands of Rohingya people in Malaysia, including refugees, are in need of emergency support during the Movement Control Order (MCO) which was imposed by the Malaysian government to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM) has received hundreds of request from Rohingya in Malaysia for the Emergency Support during Covid 19 pandemic, its president Zafar Ahmad Bin Abdul Ghani told Malaysia World News last night.

Many Rohingyas in Malaysia started to battle hunger as their food and savings have finished and they cannot go to work due to Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed by the Malaysian government to curb Covid 19.

“We understand everyone have been affected by this pandemic. The situation of Rohingya refugees is extremely vulnerable as most of us depend on daily wages to survive.

“Many Rohingya refugees are struggling to survive now as we do not have any saving.

“Most Rohingya refugees just stay at home without any means to get money to feed their family,” he said.

These unfortunate migrants or refugees are in fact struggling to pay the house rental, bring food for their families and milk for their children. 

Most of them have run out of food, and they have another week to go until MCO is lifted on 14 April.

“We are unsure if the government will extend the Movement Control Order. We cannot imagine how we are going to survive if the MCO continues,” said a Rohingya.

The president of MERHROM and all Rohingya people in Malaysia appeal to the UNHCR, private sectors, OIC, European Union, UK and the USA government to help the affected Rohingya refugees.

“MERHROM is not funded; therefore we cannot provide any financial assistance for the affected Rohingya refugees,” said Zafar Ahmad, adding that as an emergency response to the current critical situation, MERHROM has made an appeal to fellow Rohingya to assist the most affected Rohingya in Malaysia and luckily they manage to get some help.

“Yesterday, Mr. Harun Rasyid bin Md. Habi, MERHROM Vice President distributed some rice, oil, sugar and potatoes to some families in Taman Jujur, Seremban. However it was very limited,” he said.

 More than half of Malaysia’s refugee population is the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group who face persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. The rest are from countries like Pakistan, Yemen and Syria. And while the United Nations’ refugee agency UNHCR has a presence and processes asylum claims in Malaysia, the country is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, According to one NST report,

Many of them turn to odd jobs as cleaners, waiters or construction workers. In fact they are viewed as illegal migrants and cannot officially access to education or employment.  Human rights activists say they have become a prey for human trafficking and exploitation.

According to Zafar Ahmad, there are almost 200,000 Rohingya in Malaysia. About 100,000 already registered with UNHCR.

“We don’t have refugee camp in Malaysia. We living together with local. We renting house and paying rental by our own. We don’t receive any financial support from any organization. Everything on our own.

“UNHCR is not providing us food,” he said. – Malaysia World News

Graduate with a Master of Mass Communication. 10 years working experience in the media and broadcasting.

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