Refugee Resettlement Watch

Rohingya in Malaysia protest, say UN treats them unfairly

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 23, 2009

There is so much news regarding the Burmese Rohingya Muslims today, I don’t know where to start!    We have been writing extensively about the hundreds (thousands, the number keeps changing) of Rohingya men attempting to get to Malaysia and ending up in Thailand where investigations are underway about their treatment by the Thai military. 

The rescued Rohingya claim they were attempting to find work in Malaysia, but I had read some time ago that jobs in Malaysia were scarce for refugees.   Now, I’m wondering if they aren’t drawn to the community action on-going there.  It seems the Rohingya have ‘community organizers’ (agitators) there putting pressure on the UN to give them refugee status (and persumably a ticket to resettlement in the west).

300 Rohingya protested two days ago in front of UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) offices in Malaysia’s capital.

The protestors, mainly Rohingyas from Burma’s western Arakan state, said they were being treated differently and were not being granted equal status by the UN agency.

Nyi Nyi, a leader of the protestors, said they held a brief demonstration and submitted their demands in writing to an official from the agency.

“We are demanding recognition as refugees, equal treatment by the office and a cessation to official corruption in granting refugee recognition,” Nyi Nyi said. 


The UNHCR, however, denied the allegation, saying they treat all refugees equally.

The UNHCR has its hands full.  Look at the large number of Rohingya Muslims in Malaysia.

According to the UNHCR there are some 45,400 refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia, of whom approximately 40,000 are from Burma – with the majority of the Burmese refugees reportedly Rohingya Muslims from Burma’s Arakan state.

But, hey, Malaysia is a Muslim country, why can’t they just care for the mostly Muslim refugees? 

We have reported on many previous occasions that Rohingya refugees are already arriving in Europe, Canada, and I believe Australia and New Zealand.   The US will surely not be far behind.

To learn about Rohingya go to our special category here.   This is our 50th post on the subject.

2 Responses to “Rohingya in Malaysia protest, say UN treats them unfairly”

  1. […] or Malaysia , are no more welcomed than in Thailand. Rohingya Muslims have protested, even recently, and tried to make more and more people aware, especially other ‘brothers’ and ’sisters’, of […]


  2. acorcoran said

    Here a Rohingya refugee accuses the UNHCR of discriminating in favor of Christian refugees.


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