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KUALA LUMPUR β€” In response to the vitriolic campaign by some sections of Malaysian social media users against the Rohingya refugees taking refuge in the country, some Rohingya organizations have released a statement stressing that the Rohingya refugees are always grateful to the government and people of Malaysia who kindheartedly welcomed them while they were surviving genocide and they only seek temporary refuge and protection.

The ELOM Empowerment and the Rohingya Women Empowerment Network (RWDN) also stated that self-proclaimed leader Mr. Zafar Ahmed Abdul Ghani doesn’t represent the whole Rohingya refugee community, whose statement is believed to be a factor in stirring anti-Rohingya sentiment among local social media users and later clarified by himself to be misunderstood.

Pertaining to some people’s concern that the Selayang Wholesale Market is dominated by the Rohingya refugees, the statement said that of the refugees in Selayang, the Rohingya constitutes very tiny portion while “Not all Muslim groups from Myanmar are Rohingya.” Those Rohingyas also are not business owners, but manual laborers doing works for wages generally uninterested.

It also emphasized that “No one is above the law. Nor are Rohingya refugees. There are Police and other law enforcement agencies in the country. Anyone including Rohingya refugees found breaking the country’s laws, swift legal actions should be taken against them.”

The Rohingya acknowledge that Malaysians showed immense hospitality and solidarity to the refugees including Rohingyas, who found Malaysia safer than their homeland and request them to continue doing so based on humanitarian consideration.

The groups appealed to the government of Malaysia to continue to be kind to the Rohingya Genocide survivors, provide them refuge and protection, and humanitarian assistance in the country.

Finally, they urged the local media and international media to be more factually correct and in-depth in their reporting, as a simple shallow or misreporting by the media could endanger the lives of the Genocide survivors and jeopardize their refuge in the country, as is the situation now.

Rohingya never intend to permanently settle in Malaysia. They rather would go back to their homeland in Myanmar once the situation there is prepared to allow them to go back safe and secure, or otherwise, they want to be repatriated to third countries.

But the society leader Mr. Bo Ming Naing regrets that the resettlement situation is not in favor of Rohingya, and writes, “Rohingya refugees from Malaysia were failed to be resettled to third country… Most of the Rohingyas expect to be resettled in a third country because they have been in Malaysia for more than twenty years. If a refugee needs to wait for two decades to be resettled, how would it be?”

Naing also addd, “A handful of Rohingya refugees from Malaysia were resettled to third countries, especially to the USA. Those have been in Malaysia for two/ three decades have a big family now, and Rohingya population have been increased because they do not have any opportunity to be resettled.”

Statement by ELOM and RWDN, p. 1 of 2
Statement by ELOM and RWDN, p. 2 of 2.