Police asked to probe UNHCR in Malaysia over issuing of refugee cards

Police asked to probe UNHCR in Malaysia over issuing of refugee cards
SHAHIDAN: What the UNHCR office is doing is wrong because they did not inform the Home Ministry and the Immigration Department.
ALOR SETAR: Police were asked to investigate the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Malaysia for issuing refugee cards without the consent of the Malaysian government.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said what the UNHCR office is doing is wrong because they did not inform the Home Ministry and the Immigration Department.

"They (UNHCR) are like a 'government within a government'. Malaysia was not among the countries which signed the 1951 Convention on the Refugee Status or the 1967 Protocol.

"The UNHCR Office has no diplomatic status and they have to stop issuing refugee cards immediately.
"I urge the police to come in and investigate how these cards were issued just like that," he said.

Shahidan who is responsible for National Security Council (NSC) affairs, also want the detained immigrants deported to their home countries to avoid overcrowding of camps.

Shahidan said there were complaints from the public on the flooding of foreigners, affecting the nation's security and job opportunities.

"Any foreigner who wants to apply for refugee status have to follow the proper channels as defined by the laws of this country.

"The government does not want them involved in crimes, for example in Myanmar, to come to Malaysia obtain refugee cards through an easy interview process," he said after opening the Wanita Umno division delegates meeting in Alor Setar today.

Shahidan said in a recent case, 150 refugee families have invaded some lands in Rompin, where their actions were reported by the state of Pahang.

He called for the police and the Immigration Department to regard UNHCR refugee card holders as illegal immigrants and take appropriate action.

Meanwhile, statistics show that Malaysia was currently flooded with 130,000 holders of the refugee card issued by the UNHCR office in Kuala Lumpur, mostly from Myanmar and Bangladesh.