by Dr. Mazeni Alwi
YB Dato’ Seri Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia
No. 1 Jalan Wisma Putra
The Muslim Professionals Forum Berhad (MPF) lauds the government’s decision to recognise the refugee status given by the UNHCR to Rohingya Muslims who have sought refuge in Malaysia from persecution in their homeland.The UNHCR and other organisations concerned with the plight of the Rohingyas must be congratulated for their untiring efforts towards this end.
Members of the MPF who have been helping with the MERCY Malaysia mobile clinics to provide basic health care to this stateless community have a first hand understanding of their sad plight. This due recognition by the Malaysian government will alleviate the deep anguish and constant fear that they face from being arrested and deported as illegal immigrants. That they now can seek gainful employment, live in proper housing, seek proper medical care and have their children educated in Malaysian schools will go a long way towards preventing the social ills that such marginalisation and exclusion can engender.
Similar humanitarian gestures should also be considered for other genuine asylum-seekers fleeing persecution in their homeland, regardless of race and religion.
In tandem with this new policy, we urge the government of Malaysia through the forum of ASEAN to exert pressure on the Myanmar ruling military regime to cease the persecution and gross human rights violations of the Burmese Muslims and other minorities, and to guarantee their safe return, respect their fundamental rights and justly compensate their losses.
THE MUSLIM PROFESSIONALS FORUM
Dr. Mazeni Alwi