Malaysia Turns Down UN Plea To Allow Refugees To Work

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Malaysia had insisted that it would not allow refugees to work in that country, in spite of a plea by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Ismail Muttalib, the Malaysian Human Resources Deputy Minister, told that country’s Senate on Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur that allowing the more than 150,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in the country to work could create more employment problems.

The Malaysian UNHCR representative had on Monday gone to that country’s Senate to ask legislators to allow UNHCR cardholders to have a work permit.

Muttalib, however, said the country might be flooded with cardholders to a point that controlling their entry would be a problem.

He said that presently, there were already 1.9 million foreign workers in Malaysia and an estimated more than one million illegal workers.

Malaysia, one of the more developed countries in South-East Asia, was a favourite destination of workers from its less developed neighbours such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Sylvia Eneghalu

Sylvia Eneghalu

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