KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 ― A total of 62,153 people of the Rohingya ethnic community had registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the country as of Sept 30 this year, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim, who provided the figure, said 53,811 of them were refugees and the remaining 8,342, asylum seekers.
Also, as of Sept 30, up to 2,061 Rohingya had been resettled in third countries by the UNHCR, he said when replying to a question from Datuk Noor Azmi Ghazali (BN-Bagan Serai).
The MP had enquired about the government measures in addressing the atrocities committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar and the number of the ethnic community in this country.
Shahidan said statistics on the Rohingya community by states in the country had yet to be received from the UNHCR.
He also said that the government always strived to address the Rohingya issue, including urging the Myanmar government to put a stop to the atrocities committed against the community, at international and regional forums of Asean and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Shahidan said UNHCR card holders were free to move about in Malaysia, but they had to comply with the laws of the country.
Replying to a supplementary question, from Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar (PKR-Tumpat), on whether the government planned to have a mechanism to keep tabs on the number of Rohingya refugees in the country, Shahidan said the Home Ministry was in the process of having an exchange of letters with the UNHCR to obtain information not only on the Rohingya but other refugees in the country as well.
He also said that the special location for the construction of a Malaysia-sponsored field hospital in Bangladesh for Rohingya refugees would be decided by the Health Ministry and the National Security Council. ― Bernama