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Ministry mulls setting up resettlement for UNHCR refugees: Zuraida

PETALING JAYA (Aug 8): Housing and Local Government Ministry is studying the idea of setting up a resettlement village to regroup refugees registered under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that are scattered all over the country.

Speaking to Bernama, its Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the move would not only facilitate the monitoring of the existing refugees especially the Rohingyas, but at the same time, it would enable the community to have access to healthcare and education.

“If we can set up a designated area or a ‘perkampungan’ for them with facility such as school and to give them orientation to the Malaysians’ style and culture so that they can ‘blend’ in, we can actually help the community.

“In a way, we can also use their manpower in some sectors instead of relying to foreign workers. We could minimise the influx of foreign workers by capitalising the refugees community,” she said yesterday.

The idea however has yet to be discussed at the cabinet level, she added.

Zuraida was met after her participation as one of the speakers at a talk entitled Mainstreaming Disaster Resilience Attributes at the Local Government Level, as part of the three-day International Humanitarian Conference 2019 which ended yesterday, organised by Mercy Malaysia.

Zuraida also pointed that it was timely to empower and trained local communities in disaster management to enhance their knowledge and readiness in facing eventualities such as floods and landslides.

“Once they are being empowered, they will know what to do as first responder when disaster happens and what the immediate action should be,” she said stressing that the community could also be an important support group to victims,” she said.

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