Myanmar's neighbours urged to let in refugees

  • Umno MP admits to Facebook photos of Karpal in death
    Umno MP admits to Facebook photos of Karpal in death

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 — Under-fire Umno lawmaker Datuk Nawawi Ahmad admitted today to uploading photos of slain DAP leader, Karpal Singh on the Internet using his smartphone. The Langkawi MP... …

  • We love you, Tiger of Jelutong, grandchildren bid Karpal farewell
    We love you, Tiger of Jelutong, grandchildren bid Karpal farewell

    The late Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh was given a moving tribute and farewell by his grandchildren tonight, who vowed to take up the mantle of Tiger of Jelutong. The 11 grandchildren, aged between 1½ years and 11, showed the media a poster which they had made together. "Singh is King. We love you, Tiger of Jelutong. We will miss you. Jangan... …

  • ‘I’ll be the next Tiger of Jelutong’, says Karpal’s eldest grandson
    ‘I’ll be the next Tiger of Jelutong’, says Karpal’s eldest grandson

    GEORGE TOWN, April 19 — In a sign that Karpal Singh’s legacy will not be forgotten, his eldest grandson pledged today to become as fearless and dedicated a lawyer his late grandfather once was.... …

  • More seats will check gerrymandering, says opposition
    More seats will check gerrymandering, says opposition

    While Pakatan Rakyat supports the creation of more parliamentary seats in the next redelineation exercise as a means to check malapportionment, academics and non-governmental organisations have warned that it will not necessarily improve the quality of elected representatives. PAS election director Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli said the opposition pact... …

  • Learner drivers can take test in auto cars from June – Bernama

    The Road Transport Department (RTD) will allow learner drivers to be tested in automatic transmission vehicles starting in June. Deputy director-general of RTD Datuk Yusoff Ayob said there had been delays in implementing the move because of technical problems involving the printing of the driving education curriculum. "The printing of the... …

  • In Karpal, slain Beng Hock’s kin saw a beacon of hope
    In Karpal, slain Beng Hock’s kin saw a beacon of hope

    GEORGE TOWN, April 19 — The house at Number 144A Jalan Utama has seen a ceaseless stream of visitors since morning. They came from all walks of life, mostly in groups, sometimes alone to offer... …

Myanmar's neighbours should prepare to accept refugees from the country's Rohingya minority who may try to flee abroad to escape bloody communal violence, refugee organisations said Thursday.

Clashes in Myanmar's Rakhine state pitting Buddhists against members of the Muslim Rohingya minority have left at least 180 dead since violence broke out in June, swamped refugee camps and forced tens of thousands to flee the bloodshed.

Rohingya have for years trickled abroad to neighbouring Bangladesh and, increasingly, Muslim-majority Malaysia by boat. The violence has sparked warnings of a potential surge in refugees opting for the dangerous sea voyage.

"We are appealing to countries to keep borders open and to ensure safe access and whatever assistance they can provide," said Vivian Tan, Asia-Pacific spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

"The main thing is that they have a safe place to land," she said.

Tan said Myanmar's neighbours also should ensure that the UNHCR is granted access to any Rohingya who have legitimate claims to refugee status.

The Muslim minority, who speak a Bengali dialect in mainly Buddhist Myanmar, claim decades of persecution.

The government views the roughly 800,000 Rohingya in Rakhine as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and denies them citizenship.

Bangladeshi police say about 130 people are missing after a boat sank Sunday while carrying Rohingya refugees heading for Malaysia.

Decades-old animosity between Buddhists and Rohingya exploded in June after the apparent rape and murder of an ethnic Rakhine woman sparked a series of revenge attacks.

Human Rights Watch warned this week of a potential "dramatic increase in the number of Rohingya taking to the sea this year" in the wake of the unrest.

ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan, meanwhile, has warned the bloodshed could leave the Rohingya minority "radicalised and the entire region could be destabilised, including the Malacca Straits", the vital shipping lane between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

He declined Thursday to further elaborate to AFP.

Aid and refugee agencies said the violence does not appear to have triggered a large-scale Rohingya exodus yet, but they urged nearby countries to prepare.

"Countries need to show their generosity and compassion at this time of crisis," said Sharuna Verghis, co-founder of Malaysian refugee help organisation Health Equity Initiative.

The UNHCR in Malaysia has registered some 24,000 Rohingyas as refugees but community leaders estimate actual numbers in the country could be double that.

Malaysia largely turns a blind eye, allowing them into the country but denying them any sort of legal status that would allow access to health care, education, jobs, and other services, activists say.

That leaves many Rohingya like Nur Jahan, 54, on society's margins.

Nur Jahan arrived from Rakhine state four months ago and she and her seven children have scraped out a tough existence scouring through trashbins on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur for scrap items they can sell.

Her husband is sick and going blind.

"Life is very difficult here... We cannot work because we don't have documents. How do we survive? I don't have any hope and I cannot hope to return (to Myanmar)," she told AFP through an interpreter.

Malaysia must prepare for more arrivals and provide access to basic services, said Verghis.

"It is a humanitarian crisis. That's why a regional solution is needed, and part of the solution must be that everyone does their bit," she said.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • Langkawi MP unrepentant, continues insults on late Karpal, says Facebook user The Malaysian Insider
    Langkawi MP unrepentant, continues insults on late Karpal, says Facebook user

    A Barisan Nasional MP whose Facebook posting poking fun at the death of Karpal Singh shocked Malaysians has again insulted the late DAP leader, this time comparing him to a hostile figure in Islamic history who fought against Prophet Muhammad. Facebook user Shamsul Kamal Ariffin Mohd Nasir, 42, told The Malaysian Insider that Langkawi MP,... …

  • Karpal’s car crashed into lorry, not the other way around, says Perak police The Malaysian Insider
    Karpal’s car crashed into lorry, not the other way around, says Perak police

    Initial investigations have revealed that Karpal Singh’s Toyota Alphard crashed into a five-ton lorry in the accident yesterday that claimed his life and that of his assistant, Perak police said today. State police chief Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani also dismissed rumours and speculation that the accident was caused by the lorry crashing... …

  • Interfaith group ‘worried’ that ex-judge can have such ‘racist’ views The Malay Mail Online
    Interfaith group ‘worried’ that ex-judge can have such ‘racist’ views

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 — An interfaith group expressed shock today at the “racist” views of a former high-ranking judge who had called the presence of large Hindu and Buddhist statues in the... …