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Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar says Malaysia can only send 8,312 Rohingya refugees to third countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan, from 2003 to 2021. — Bernama pic
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar says Malaysia can only send 8,312 Rohingya refugees to third countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan, from 2003 to 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 ― Malaysia could only send 8,312 Rohingya refugees to third countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan, from 2003 to 2021, said Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar.

He said the issue over the resettlement of Rohingya refugees in third countries was often highlighted by the government in discussions with foreign nations and on international platforms, but there were little results.

“The United States had been taking in the most number of refugees, with over 7,000 people while Finland, only took one in the past 18 years, so the results were not very encouraging.

“As such, we need to continue to work with countries around the world, especially through Asean,” he said during oral question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat today.

He said this in reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Mohd Nizar Zakaria (BN-Parit) on whether Malaysia is able to handle the Rohingya refugees in the country, said to have increased to over 200,000 people.

Kamarudin added that the ministry had been working with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to seek ways to speed up the resettlement of Rohingya refugees in third countries.

“Malaysia had also repeatedly stressed that our country cannot afford to accommodate the increasing number of Rohingya refugees and had called on the international community to come forward to help find a lasting solution,” he said.

In reply to Mohd Nizar’s original question on the ministry’s joint efforts with ASEAN countries to resolve the Rohingya issue, Kamarudin said Malaysia had often emphasised the importance of Asean to urge Myanmar to address the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State.

He said Malaysia had also strongly urged Myanmar to implement the recommendations submitted by the Asean-Emergency Response and Assessment Team (Asean-ERAT) as well as the Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA).

“This is to ensure that the repatriation of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar is voluntarily, carried out safely and with dignity and that the number of refugees heading for Malaysia is reduced,” he said. ― Bernama

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