PETALING JAYA: Illegal immigrants hauled up for working on farms in the wake of devastating flash floods in Cameron Highlands may not be from the Rohingya community, said a local Rohingya leader.
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia president Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani said they had no knowledge about claims that there were 4,000 Rohingyas in Cameron Highlands.
Zafar said even if there were, the number would be fewer.
“We hope the Government will thoroughly investigate the identity of those who claim to be Rohingyas because they could be Bangladeshi or those of other ethnicities from Myanmar,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said that apart from Bangladeshis and Nepalese, there were over 4,000 Rohingya refugees who are registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Cameron Highlands.
Zafar offered to help in the identification process of Rohingya refugees and asylum seekers in Cameron Highlands or in other places.
He also urged UNHCR to be careful in their identification process because there were many who were posing to be Rohingyas.
He said this had a serious impact on the Rohingya community in Malaysia, especially when non-Rohingyas who carried UNHCR cards were arrested for criminal activities.
“This gives stateless Rohingya refugees a bad reputation and we hope UNHCR will review the identification process,” he said.
He pointed out that very few stateless Rohingyas were registered with UNHCR and resettled in third countries compared to other ethnic citizens from Myanmar.
Illegal extensions at farms in Cameron Highlands flattened