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Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim says the UNHCR should consult the Home Ministry and the Immigration Department before issuing refugee cards. — TRP file pic
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ALOR STAR, Aug 15, 2015:
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malaysia has been urged to stop issuing refugee cards without the consent of the Malaysian government.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the UNHCR should consult the Home Ministry and the Immigration Department before issuing the cards.
“The UNHCR office is doing it wrong by issuing the (refugee) cards without informing the Home Ministry and the Immigration Department.
“It (UNHCR) has no diplomatic status and should stop issuing the card immediately. I want the police to investigate how can the card be issued like that,” he told reporters after opening the Alor Star Umno divisional delegates meeting here today.
He said Malaysia was not among the countries which signed the 1951 Convention on the Refugee Status or the 1967 Protocol.
Foreigners wanting to apply for refugee status have to go through procedures as required by the laws in the country, he added.
Shahidan said Malaysia was currently flooded with 130,000 holders of the refugee card issued by the UNHCR office in Kuala Lumpur.
We do not want foreigners involved in crime in their respective country of origin to come to Malaysia and be given the UNHCR card through a simple interview, he added.
He also mentioned a case of illegal occupation of state land by 150 refugee families in Rompin and the matter had been reported to the Pahang government.
Malaysia could no longer accommodate foreigners and those caught breaking the law should be deported to their countries of origin immediately, he added.