Dear Malaysian Bloggers,
My name is Aris Oziar. For the past three months I have been working on a website project called FiftyRefugees. As the name implies, it chronicles the story of 50 refugees who currently call
This project is part of the 50-44 Merdeka Coalition (www.50-44.org ), a group of local NGOs who will conduct an alternative celebration of Merdeka in September after the official celebrations have died down. NGOs in their respective fields will touch on various issues, highlighting migrants, refugees, Orang Asli, the urban poor, race and religion etc.
Malaysia does not recognise the Geneva Refugee Convention, and partly as a result of this (we have other legal avenues to give them rights, such as IMM13 but the government has refused to act), Refugees in Malaysia who cross the border illegally or whose visa has lapsed are classified as Illegal Immigrants, subject to arrest and detention by the police, RELA and Immigration. They have restricted access to healthcare services and the children cannot go to government schools, effectively denying them education
As a Malaysian, I am outraged to hear their stories of
I want average Malaysians to know. To know that refugees do exist in
We have tasted independence for the past 50 years. And yet, today, there are still people in this country who have none.
Please, if you have time, write about this issue or perhaps mention www.fiftyrefugees.wordpress.com . Malaysians read your blogs. I want them to know.