Malaysian Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Nur Jazlan Mohamed (Source:
Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysian Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Nur Jazlan Mohamed has opposed a recent announcement of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) turning the country into a “destination” for refugees, instead of a “transit point”.

The New Straits Times quoted the Deputy Minister as saying the UNHCR is publicly pressuring Malaysia to take responsibility for and accept these refugees, adding that the country has accommodated the refugees based on the UNHCR’s request on the ground that Malaysia is a transit country.

He stressed that Malaysia requests the UNHCR stop making such announcements.

The official also said Malaysia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention so it is not bound by international law to provide refugees with jobs and education. It helps these people simply because of goodwill and humanitarian grounds.

Richard Towle, a UNHCR representative said on June 21 that more than 150,000 refugees living in the country already considered Malaysia as a final destination and no longer a transit point.

He added that under the Malaysian law, refugees are not allowed to work and their children cannot go to mainstream schools.

The UNHCR hoped Malaysia will have changes over this issue.-VNA