Jobs for Rohingyas
> Zahid: 300 to get permits in plantation, manufacturing sectors
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.