KUALA LUMPUR: Rohingyas are classified as illegal immigrants in Malaysia and they do not have the rights to demand anything from the government, according to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.
He said the refugee groups in Malaysia, including the Rohingyas are classified as illegal immigrants (PATI).The government does not recognize them even if they are United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) card holders
Malaysia is not party to the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.
“However, Malaysia allowed those with the UNHCR card to stay temporarily in the country, on humanitarian grounds, until they go to another country,” he said in a statement that he posted on his Facebook.
There are currently 179,521 registered refugees living temporarily in Malaysia, 101,584 of them are from Rohingya.
Hamzah added that the National Registration Department (NRD) had never registered any Rohingya association in the country, and as such, any organization representing ethnic Rohingyas in Malaysia is illegal under the Societies Act 1966 (Act 335) and legal action can be taken against them.