International community must give attention to issue of stateless persons: Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR: The issue of stateless persons is a critical problem which needs attention from the international community as it could have a negative impact not just on the affected nations but also to the whole region.

Speaking in Geneva, Switzerland, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pix) said Malaysia has been dealing with the problem of stateless persons from the Asean region for a long time.

“Although we are not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, we have been receiving a large number of stateless people from the Asean region, especially from Myanmar, and the numbers are increasing.

“As a consequence, we have not only been grappling with the financial burden of hosting them, but also having to tackle with all kinds of security risks and social problems,” Muhyiddin said on Monday in his speech at the United Nations (UN) High-Level Event on Statelessness here.

Muhyiddin stressed that Malaysia remains committed to working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in its efforts to tackle this problem.

The text of his speech was given to the media here.

Muhyiddin arrived on Sunday for a four-day working visit to Geneva to attend the High-Level Event on Statelessness, a programme held in conjunction with the 70th Session of the Executive Committee (ExCom) of UNHCR.

He is scheduled to meet with UNHCR High Commissioner, Filippo Grandi, to discuss Malaysia’s role in the implementation of the Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and the management of refugees and asylum-seekers in Malaysia. - Bernama