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Malaysia grants temporary stay to Rohingya refugees

Briefing notes

Malaysia grants temporary stay to Rohingya refugees

2 November 2004

UNHCR welcomes the recent decision of the Malaysian government to grant temporary stay permits to the Rohingya refugee population from Myanmar. This demonstrates the strong humanitarian commitment of Malaysia and of this government in particular. The action will regularise the situation of the refugees, who up until now had been tolerated but were still considered illegal migrants and subject to arrest.

UNHCR estimates there are some 10,000 Rohingyas in Malaysia, many of whom arrived during the 1990s, mainly living in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. Refugee leaders have said they are thrilled by the decision, which comes towards the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. One refugee said it was the biggest gift they could have hoped for.

The implementation of this decision is still being prepared within the Malaysian Home Affairs Ministry. UNHCR awaiting all the details so we can inform the Rohingyas and we're ready to assist the authorities in any way we can to help implement the decision.

Rohingyas originate from North Rakhine state in Myanmar.