Malaysia to absorb 56k Rohingya refugees in the country into semi-skilled workforce

19 Jan 2017 / 19:10 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is committed to assist the 56,000 Rohingya refugees currently residing in the country by absorbing them into the semi-skilled workforce.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said such effort would allow ethnic Rohingyas with UNHCR cards to become an asset to the nation, rather than becoming a liability.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, said the government is currently in the midst of scrutinising the plan to allow for Rohingya refugees to be able to work legally in Malaysia.
"They will be given training in the semi-skill sector and we will scrutinise the implementation to provide them with work opportunity.
"These UNHCR card holders will be given the temporary foreign work permit (PLKS), and their status can be changed from a liability to an asset to our workforce," he told reporters at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation extraordinary session at the KL Convention Centre here.
Ahmad Zahid said the plan was part of the government's commitment to alleviate the hardship faced by the refugees in Malaysia.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed on Jan 7 had stated that a pilot project is underway to allow ethnic Rohingyas with UNHCR cards to be employed.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia is yet to receive a green light from the Myanmar government to dock its humanitarian flotilla at the troubled Rakhine State.
This was despite news reports stating that the Myanmar authorities had agreed verbally to allow the mission to take place, although with conditions.
"Not yet, not yet. Of course if it (permission) is granted we will welcome Myanmar's commitment," he said.
Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia is still negotiating with its Myanmar counterpart to allow the mission to enter through Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State.

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