PUTRAJAYA: The Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) is emphasising on the educational aspect to help find a solution to the Rohingya refugees issue in the country, says Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah (pic).
“Education is very important to prevent them from getting involved in social problems or crime here, besides making it easier for them to be selected by a third country,” he said at a press conference after delivering the ministry’s 2022 New Year’s message, here, on Wednesday (Jan 12).
Most of them do not intend to settle in Malaysia.
“They make Malaysia a stopover and expect to be accepted by third countries, but third countries are also choosy and one of the selection criteria is that they have some education,” he said.
Saifuddin said Wisma Putra was looking at ways to empower and increase funding for refugee schools run by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to ensure that Rohingya refugee children in the country were not dropped out of the education system.
“The funds are not from the people or the government, but are funds that can be sought from external sources for example among the many sources are like the funding from the Qatar Foundation,” he said.
Besides, he said, the issue of Rohingya refugees in the country needs to be addressed comprehensively and collectively by the relevant agencies and ministries.
Wisma Putra always holds discussions with the Home Ministry and the Education Ministry as well as other agencies involving the Rohingya issue in the country.
“I would like to remind that Malaysia is not a signatory to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) but we play a role as if we are a signatory,” he said.
The issue of Rohingya refugees was once again raised recently after a video clip of a Rohingya child scolding people for not giving alms to him spread on social media.
Earlier, a Rohingya refugee Abd Hamim Ab Hamid, 33, known as Long Tiger, was reported to have escaped from the Tangkak Magistrate’s Court lock -up on Dec 15. The man was later arrested on Dec 28.- Bernama