DPM: Government to resolve problems of Bukit Malut refugees holistically

The government will study problems on refugees at Bukit Malut, Langkawi, Kedah, to resolve the matter holistically, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. — Bernama pic
The government will study problems on refugees at Bukit Malut, Langkawi, Kedah, to resolve the matter holistically, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. — Bernama pic

SHAH ALAM, June 23 — The government will study problems on refugees at Bukit Malut, Langkawi, Kedah, to resolve the matter holistically, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

She said Malaysia’s location, which is near Myanmar and Cox Bazar in Bangladesh, made it a convenient location for refugees, including the ethnic Rohingyas, to seek protection.

“I believe Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself is aware of the issue. I am made to understand that the refugees have been staying there for some time. We have to see how to address the problem.

“When we talk about the Rohingya refugees, they have their (own) way of life and we have to look into how to take care of them, including their living condition, such as cleanliness and the sewage system. We do not want the problem to swell further and we will address the matter holistically,” she added.

Dr Wan Azizah said this to reporters at an Aidilfitri celebration hosted by the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) here today.

According to newspaper reports today, refugees had begun occupying Bukit Malut since the 1980s, with between 5,000 and 8,000 people occupying more than 800 houses there.

In another development, Dr Wan Azizah said the government is serious in efforts to enhance crime prevention as the move is better than looking for the offenders.

She referred to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case, where there were problems in getting evidence, thus, affecting the process of prosecuting the offender.

The government, she said, would continue to raise the awareness level of the public on the importance of crime prevention.

On a suggestion for the government to increase the grant for the Kawasan Rukun Tetangga (KRT) Committee, she said the matter could be considered.

Yesterday, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Wira Md Farid Md Rafik said between 20 and 30 per cent of the 8,400 KRT and Volunteer Patrol Scheme (SRS) were not active due to lack of funds. — Bernama