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CONCERNING CURRENT SITUATION SURROUNDING ROHINGYA REFUGEES IN MALAYSIA

JOINT STATEMENT BY RWDN & ELOM

Against the backdrop of Covid-19 Pandemic in Malaysia, there has been rising vitriolic campaign by some sections of Malaysian social media users against the Rohingya refugees taking refuge in the country. Though it's difficult to say what exactly is the trigger behind the campaign, following three incidences seem to be possible triggers:


  1. Recent arrival and subsequent pushing back of the Rohingya boat survivors,

  2. A self-proclaimed leader of Rohingya refugees in Malaysia apparently demanding Citizenship and Equal Rights in the country

  3. And rumors that the Rohingya refugees have dominated ‘Pasar Selayang’ areas and subsequently breaking the Covid-19 Lockdown rules.


The Rohingya people — survivors of Genocide by the Myanmar regime making up to merely 4 million worldwide — have been in political, economical, social and educational lockdown by the successive Myanmar regimes for more than four decades. Today, more than one million of them are living concentrated refugee camps in Bangladesh. Restricted from education and up-to-date information, they are unable to fully understand the gravity and seriousness of Covid-19 situation and following lockdowns. On top of that, misinformation by the human traffickers to coax them travel to Malaysia makes it worse. Though it's wrong to move to anywhere amidst the lockdown in most parts of the world, one could understand why the Rohingya survivors still end up at the Malaysian shores by boat or at Thai-Malaysian border.

The Rohingya survivors escaping Genocide in Myanmar end up in Malaysia for shelter and refuge. While a few of them get resettled to third countries, majority of them still have to stay in Malaysia for years/decades with the hope that they would go back to their homeland in Myanmar once it becomes peaceful, safe from danger and they are given security for their life protection. They have no intention to permanently settle in Malaysia, as far as their wishes are concerned.

Mr. Zafar Ahmed Abdul Ghani, a self-proclaimed leader of Rohingya who runs an organization named Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM), apparently demanded the Citizenship and Equal Rights for the Rohingya refugees in Malaysia sparking outrage on Malaysian Social Media Platforms. He's denied several times that he didn’t make such demands (through online video statements). Nevertheless, He is NOT an elected Representative, President or Ambassador of the Rohingya refugees in Malaysia.

The Rohingya refugees do not seek Malaysian citizenship nor do any right not permitted in the Malaysian Law. They may seek temporary refuge and protection (though Malaysia isn’t a signatory to the UN’s Refugee Convention, it has respected it all along based on humanitarian consideration) human rights and other rights bestowed under international agreements which Malaysia has ratified to such as Child Rights Convention (CRC). 

Moreover, there are also growing concerns among the Malaysian people that ‘Pasar Selayang’ (Selayang Wholesale Wet Markets) and surrounding areas have been dominated and controlled by the Rohingya refugees. And that they are habitually breaking the laws even during the lockdown. This is factually incorrect.

Only a handful of migrants/refugees living and working in the areas are Rohingya refugees, while the majority are not. Not all Muslim groups from Myanmar are Rohingya. Besides, to the best of our knowledge, the Rohingya refugees in 'Selayang' areas are not any business owners or agents but they are just daily/monthly wage workers/labors. An in-depth field investigation report will prove that.

No one is above the law. Nor are Rohingya refugees. There are Police and other law enforcement agencies in the country. Anyone including Rohingya refugees found breaking the country’s laws, swift legal actions should be taken against them.

Contrary to some unfounded allegations on Social Media and in some mainstream media, the Rohingya refugees in Malaysia as well as those resettled to third countries have been always grateful to the country and its hospitable people and will always be. They are concerned about its socio economical welfares and always pray for its well-being.

The people of Malaysia have always shown immense hospitality and solidarity to the refugees including Rohingyas and we request you to continue doing so based on humanitarian consideration.

We appeal to the government of Malaysia to continue to be kind to the Rohingya Genocide survivors and provide them refuge in the country and humanitarian assistance.

We urge the local media and international media covering and reporting on the situation of the Rohingya refugees in Malaysia to be more factually correct and in depth in their reporting. A simple shallow or misreporting by the media could endanger the lives of the Genocide survivors and jeopardize their refuge in the country.


Last but not the least, we pray for and stand in solidarity with Malaysia and its people during this nationwide crisis; and socially, economically and mentally stressful situation due to Pandemic Covid-19.

Thank you Malaysia! God bless you and a blessed month of Ramadhan!

For more, please contact:

1) Sharifah Shakirah

WhatsApp: +1 832 929 5684              Email: rwdn2017@gmail.com

2) Sujauddin Karimuddin

WhatsApp: +6 014 732 9770              Email: elomempowerment@gmail.com

 

SITUASI SEMASA BERKENAAN PELARIAN ROHINGYA DI MALAYSIA

KENYATAAN BERSAMA RWDN & ELOM

Sewaktu tempoh pandemik Covid-19 di Malaysia, terdapat kempen kebencian oleh segelintir pengguna media sosial berkenaan pelarian Rohingya yang mencari perlindungan di Malaysia. Walaupun sukar untuk mencari punca utama di sebalik kempen ini, faktor-faktor berikut mungkin menjadi telah menjadi pencetus:

  1. Ketibaan and penolakan bot yang dinaiki pelarian Rohingya

  2. Berita palsu berkenaan seorang individu Rohingya membuat tuntutan kerakyatan dan hak sama rata

  3. Khabar angin berkenaan pelarian Rohingya mendominasi kawasan ‘Pasar Selayang’ yang mengakibatkan perintah kawalan pergerakan diperketatkan (PKPD)


Etnik Rohingya – mangsa genosid oleh rejim Myanmar mempunyai 4 juta jiwa di seluruh dunia – telah dinafikan hak politik, ekonomi, sosial dan pendidikan oleh rejim Myanmar selama lebih empat dekad. Pada masa kini, terdapat lebih satu juta etnik Rohingya tinggal di kem pelarian penuh sesak di Bangladesh. Dinafikan hak untuk mendapatkan pendidikan dan maklumat terkini, mereka kurang maklum berkenaan situasi Covid-19 dan perintah berkurung. Lebih buruk apabila sindiket pemerdagangan manusia memanipulasi keterdesakan ini untuk membawa mereka ke Malaysia. Walaupun perintah berkurung dijalankan di seluruh dunia ketika ini, kesengsaraan yang menghimpit etnik Rohingya memaksa mereka untuk tiba di perairan Malaysia dengan bot atau di sempadan Thailand-Malaysia.


Etnik Rohingya yang menyelamatkan diri daripada genosid di Myanmar mencari perlindungan di Malaysia. Segelintir kecil daripada mereka mendapat penempatan di negara ketiga manakala majoriti tinggal di Malaysia selama beberapa tahun atau dekad dengan harapan untuk pulang ke tanah air di Myanmar apabila keadaan menjadi aman serta selamat. Mereka tidak mempunyai niat untuk tinggal selama-lamanya di Malaysia.


Berita palsu berkenaan Encik Zafar Ahmed Abdul Ghani, yang merupakan presiden Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM) meminta kerakyatan dan hak sama rata telah menimbulkan anggapan salah terhadap etnik Rohingya. Beliau juga telah berkali-kali menafikan fitnah yang tersebar luas di media sosial ini melalui kenyataan-kenyataan yang dikeluarkannya. Tambahan pula, Encik Zafar bukanlah ketua komuniti yang dilantik secara sah bagi mewakili etnik Rohingya di Malaysia.


Pelarian Rohingya di Malaysia tidak pernah menuntut kerakyatan atau apa-apa yang bercanggah dengan undang-undang Malaysia. Mereka hanya memohon perlindungan sementara di sini. Walaupun Malaysia tidak menandatangani konvensyen berkenaan pelarian, Malaysia menghormati hak-hak asasi manusia seperti yang termaktub dalam konvensyen-konvensyen lain yang diratifikasi seperti Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) dan Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).


Di samping itu, terdapat kerisauan oleh rakyat Malaysia bahawa kawasan ‘Pasar Selayang’ dan sekitarnya didominasi serta dikawal oleh pelarian Rohingya. Mereka juga dikatakan telah melanggar perintah kawalan pergerakan yang ditetapkan. Keadaan ini sama sekali tidak benar.


Hakikatnya, hanya segelintir daripada komuniti migran dan pelarian yang bekerja di kawasan tersebut merupakan etnik Rohingya, bukannya majoriti. Bukan semua komuniti Muslim dari Myanmar ialah Rohingya. Tambahan pula, golongan pelarian di kawasan Selayang bukanlah pemilik atau ejen yang memiliki perniagaan sendiri. Mereka hanyalah pekerja yang makan gaji secara harian ataupun bulanan. Kajian secara terperinci boleh mengesahka perkara ini


Tiada sesiapa pun melebihi undang-undang termasuklah pelarian Rohingya. Mana-mana individu termasuklah etnik Rohingya yang didapati melanggar undang-undang tidak kebal daripada diambil tindakan oleh pihak berkuasa.


Berbeza dengan tanggapan salah yang tersebar luas di media sosial dan media arus perdana, pelarian Rohingya di Malaysia serta mereka yang sudah ditempatkan di negara ketiga sentiasa berterima kasih kepada rakyat dan kerajaan Malaysia atas keprihatinan yang ditunjukkan. Kebajikan sosio-ekonomi golongan pelarian Rohingya sentiasa diambil berat di sini.


Rakyat dan kerajaan Malaysia sentiasa menunjukkan keprihatinan dan solidarity yang tinggi terhadap golongan pelarian termasuklah etnik Rohingya. Kami berharap agar keprihatinan berdasarkan sifat peri kemanusiaan ini berkekalan. Semoga Allah memberkati bumi bertuah Malaysia !


Kami memohon jasa baik kerajaan Malaysia supaya terus prihatin terhadap nasib Rohingya yang menjadi mangsa genosid dengan membenarkan kami mendapatkan perlindungan dan bantuan kemanusiaan di negara ini.


Kami menggesa pihak media tempatan dan antarabangsa supaya melaporkan fakta yang sahih sahaja. Kesilapan dalam melaporkan berita oleh pihak media boleh mengancam nyawa mangsa genosid dan menjejaskan nasib pelarian di sini.


Akhir kata, kami berdoa dan bersolidariti bersama rakyat Malaysia dalam menangani krisis pandemik Covid-19.


Terima kasih Malaysia! Semoga Allah merahmatimu dalam bulan Ramadan yang mulia ini!

Untuk maklumat lanjut, sila hubungi:

1) Sharifah Shakirah

WhatsApp: +1 832 929 5684              Email: rwdn2017@gmail.com

2) Sujauddin Karimuddin

WhatsApp: +6 014 732 9770              Email: elomempowerment@gmail.com

 

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JOINT STATEMENT BY RWDN AND ELOM

MALAY

KENYATAAN BERSAMA: RWDN & ELOM

 
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WELCOME TO ROHINGYA WOMEN DEVELOPMENT NETWORK- RWDN

 
 

ABOUT RWDN

EMPOWERING ROHINGYA WOMEN

Founded in 2016, by SHARIFAH Shakirah, Rohyngia Women Development Network (RWDN)

is the first and only Rohingya women’s group in Malaysia. 

Vision:

Strong Rohingya community where men and women collaborate to empower future Rohingyagenerations.

aims to teach women to harness their abilities, develop new skills and provide them

with opportunities to lead.

Mission:

A Rohingya women-led community organization working to strengthen and develop Rohingya community through education, skills training and advocacy.

Priority Focus Areas:

The following are the priority focus areas for RWDN for the next 5 years:

a.  Education: Strong patriarchal systems and practices in the Rohingya community has resulted in females being deprived of education which in turn gives rise to illiteracy and disempowerment.

b.  Livelihoods:

c.  Leadership Development

d.  Fundraising


 
Helping Hands

HOW WE HELP

 

To help the Rohingya women empower themselves and earn an income to support their families it is imperative they are able to create and sell products in a sustainable manner.


Contributing financially to the family unit often means a greater degree of freedom in their day-to-day life, more access to educational opportunities at our centres and more hope of reducing child marriages as teenage girls can be seen more as an asset than a burden.

RWDN delivers different streams of education around human rights such as child marriage, domestic violence and building confidence as women.


Training also includes sewing and craft skills to create products for sale, English language and other classes such as self-defense.


The outreach program involves door to door awareness campaigns to engage with the whole family, explain the aim of our work, encourage enrollment in our programmes, and at times family intervention to reduce domestic violence and stop child marriage.

The refugee community of Rohingya families in Malaysia live in makeshift housing and with no access to legal employment. A budget of $20 is sufficient to purchase food supplies for a small family for a month. Donations also go towards our emergency fund to help those in the most dire situations contributing towards medical bills and disability support.

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"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together"

Vincent Van Gogh

 
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©2018 by Rohingya Women Development Network (RWDN).