KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will not send any illegal immigrant who arrived here via boat back out to sea – including the 300 Rohingya refugees who entered the country’s waters last June.
Instead, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government will look for an appropriate solution for their situation.
“The government had never planned on sending the Rohingya illegal immigrants back out to the open sea,” he said when giving a parliamentary reply, yesterday.
The question was posed by Datuk Liew Vui Keong (Warisan-Batu Sapi) who asked the prime minister if the government plans on sending the 300 Rohingya back out to sea.
Aside from the 300 individuals, it was also reported that 252 Rohingya arrived illegally in Malaysia in March, and 269 arrived in June 2019.
According to Muhyiddin, the authorities are currently investigating the two incidents, exploring several security aspects including human trafficking, the lack of legal documents to enter the country, and the potential involvement of organised crime.
“Due to that, if the findings of the investigation are that the Rohingya refugees need international protection based on the non-refoulement principle and the exemption usually given to foreigners who may need international protection by the UNHCR, on the basis of humanity, this group of people may not be expelled and be allowed to stay temporarily in this country until they can be relocated to either a third country or return to their homeland once the crisis in Rakhine, Myanmar begins to subside,” he said.