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Dead-end: Rohingya in Malaysia warn against fleeing from Bangladesh

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Dead-end: Rohingya in Malaysia warn against fleeing from Bangladesh

By Krishna N. Das

 

2019-11-20T031230Z_1_LYNXMPEFAJ078_RTROPTP_4_MYANMAR-ROHINGYA-MALAYSIA.JPG

Rohingya refugees who were intercepted by Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency off Langkawi island, are escorted in their boat as they are handed over to immigration authorities, at the Kuala Kedah ferry jetty in Malaysia April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

 

PENANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - Before he flew to Thailand on a fake Bangladeshi passport and then crossed into Malaysia, Mohammed Imran was one of the most influential Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. He headed an 18,000-strong camp and represented them on the big stage.

 

In late 2017, at the peak of a mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh fleeing violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, Imran paid traffickers $4,720 to be smuggled into Malaysia in search of a better life.

 

Malaysia has become home to more than 100,000 Rohingya refugees, the second-highest number in the world after Bangladesh, with most braving the Andaman Sea on rickety boats or paying people smugglers for fake travel documents.

 

But Imran and nearly two dozen other Rohingya men Reuters spoke to in the Malaysian state of Penang said their hopes had been shattered because of a lack of jobs and harassment by police as they are deemed illegal immigrants.

 

They tell friends and family to stay in Bangladesh, despite the hostile conditions there, and some are thinking of heading back.

 

"I thought I would have a life here - basic things like freedom to work, freedom to move around without always worrying about being bullied by police," said Imran, 30, sitting cross-legged in a run-down apartment he shares with three other Rohingya men.

 

Representatives of Malaysia's police and home ministry did not respond to questions from Reuters.

 

Staring at a wall where his clothes hang from a rope, Imran recalled emotional conversations with his mother, who lives in Saudi Arabia, over fears she would never see her only son again.

 

Imran's two younger sisters live in the Bangladesh camps and he sends them money every month, saving little or nothing for himself after food and rent.

 

"Our future is so obvious here: we have no future. In Bangladesh you at least have your family and friends around, you speak and understand the language, you have a voice," said Imran, who volunteers as a mental health counsellor, making about $600 a month.

 

MENTAL TRAUMA

 

Many Rohingya spent months in jail after entering Malaysia but were released at the request of U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and now work odd jobs illegally.

 

Only a third of the adult Rohingya in Malaysia are employed, the UNHCR estimates.

 

Many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, aid agencies and Rohingya say, as their chances of resettlement in a third country evaporate amid anti-refugee sentiment in countries such as the United States.

 

A UNHCR survey https://www.unhcr.org/5bbc6f014.pdf of 245 Rohingya in Malaysia in mid-2018 found about a fifth had moderate to severe mental health symptoms associated with depression and PTSD.

 

From January to April, a third of Rohingya patients presented at counselling with psychosomatic symptoms or chronic pain, medical NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said.

 

"There's an indication of a sense of helplessness among the patients," MSF told Reuters.

 

Rohingya interviewed by Reuters said they live in fear of arrest, detention and deportation as Malaysia has not ratified the U.N. Refugee Convention.

 

A survey http://www.melatinungsari.com/uploads/2/3/6/3/23631450/finalreport-mnsf.pdf of 288 Rohingya construction workers in Malaysia published late last year found a quarter had been sent to jail at least once, and nearly half had bribed police.

 

Imran said he knew of at least 1,000 Rohingya who were ready to go back, but they know that means again paying traffickers and risking arrest.

 

"My brothers ask me sometimes if they should come," said Mohammed Irfan, who spent six months in jail after reaching Malaysia in 2013.

 

"I tell them if I could take the clock back, I would have never come here."

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-11-20

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look what happened to europe, invaded by muslims, getting all benefits and don't follow any rules, even worse, imposing the natives to change THEIR culture (x-mas, easter, ...)

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Oh stop that whining now. ofcourse your muslim brothers are going to take care of you. Same as all muslim countries helped Syrians and all other muslim refugees. 

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I don't agree with the killing of women and children, also the rape of women but what did they expect!!!! They have been killing Monks and school teachers as their not Muslim!!! This is exactly what is happening in the South of Thailand!!! I think other Countries should take note of what Bruma has done here and follow suit. Muslims don't integrate, they take over an area and push out people who have lived there all their life's! They then want to make that area a no go area for non Muslims and what Sharia law! Or in Countries like Thailand, Philippines and Burma they actually want part of the Country!!! If you are a strict Muslim you should stay in a Muslim Country and not try to force your religious beliefs on others!!! 

 

Rant over, peace out ✌️ 

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On 11/18/2019 at 11:44 AM, Tech65 said:

Yes. 

 

14 hours ago, sead said:

Oh stop that whining now. ofcourse your muslim brothers are going to take care of you. Same as all muslim countries helped Syrians and all other muslim refugees. 

I remembered when I was living in a small country. The land that accept brotherhood as a game instead of faithfulness. Brotherhood no longer last because in the end, either one have to consume or be consume. Money talks followed by will and innovative bargain technique to turned it into desired result.

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8 hours ago, Gasoline said:

I don't agree with the killing of women and children, also the rape of women but what did they expect!!!! They have been killing Monks and school teachers as their not Muslim!!! This is exactly what is happening in the South of Thailand!!! I think other Countries should take note of what Bruma has done here and follow suit. Muslims don't integrate, they take over an area and push out people who have lived there all their life's! They then want to make that area a no go area for non Muslims and what Sharia law! Or in Countries like Thailand, Philippines and Burma they actually want part of the Country!!! If you are a strict Muslim you should stay in a Muslim Country and not try to force your religious beliefs on others!!! 

 

Rant over, peace out ✌️ 

I fully support the Southern of Thailand should be drenched into modern canal with best maritime navy security by the along the bay front. In that way, more vessel will pass by there. Casino could be build and waterfront living could flourish.

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