Jobs for Ro­hingyas

> Zahid: 300 to get per­mits in plan­ta­tion, man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

KUALA LUMPUR: In a move to ad­dress the short­age of work­ers in cer­tain sec­tors, the govern­ment will em­bark on a pi­lot pro­ject where Ro­hingya refugees will be given work per­mits to work in th­ese ar­eas.

As a start, some 300 Ro­hingya refugees will be given work per­mits to work in the plan­ta­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors.

In a writ­ten re­ply, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi said the se­lected Ro­hingyas will be al­lowed to work in th­ese sec­tors for a pe­riod of three years.

This is part of the govern­ment’s hu­man­i­tar­ian pol­icy, al­though Malaysia is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Con­ven­tion and the 1967 Pro­to­col Re­lat­ing to the Sta­tus of Refugees.

“This is one of the govern­ment’s ef­forts to pre­pare this group be­fore they re­turn to their coun­try or are sent to a re­set­tle­ment coun­try,” said Ah­mad Zahid, who is also home min­is­ter.

How­ever, he did not elab­o­rate on when the pi­lot pro­ject would start and the terms of their em­ploy­ment.

Ah­mad Zahid was re­spond­ing to Wong Chen (PKR-Ke­lana Jaya) who asked the Home Min­istry to state whether Ro­hingya refugees will be given the same as­sis­tance, such as tem­po­rary set­tle­ment and work per­mits, as that given to Syr­ian refugees.

“The Syr­ian mi­grants and Ro­hingya il­le­gal im­mi­grants are two dif­fer­ent is­sues for the govern­ment’s con­sid­er­a­tion.

Thus, to date, the govern­ment does not have any plan to pro­vide tem­po­rary set­tle­ment and work per­mits for the Ro­hingyas (as given to the Syr­i­ans).”

Ear­lier, Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Datuk Reezal Mer­i­can Naina Mer­i­can said Malaysia is not ready to com­mit to the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties stated un­der the 1951 Refugee Con­ven­tion and the 1967 Pro­to­col Re­lat­ing to the Sta­tus of Refugees.

“Be­fore any de­ci­sion is made, the govern­ment has to scru­ti­nise the mat­ter to en­sure it falls within the ex­ist­ing poli­cies and le­gal frame­work.

The govern­ment is study­ing the im­pli­ca­tions of th­ese con­ven­tions to the coun­try, tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the as­pects of se­cu­rity, so­cial prob­lems and fi­nan­cial bur­den that come with it,” he said when re­ply­ing to Datuk Seri Mo­hamed Azmin Ali (PKR-Gom­bak).

Azmin had asked whether the govern­ment has set a time-frame to rat­ify the con­ven­tion, con­sid­er­ing the risks faced by the refugees.

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