About This Website

As at June 2007, there are approximately 37,000 Refugees registered with the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) in Malaysia. Many more are asylum seekers who have yet to achieve Refugee status. This website tells the stories of 50 of them. Aged from babies barely a month old to grandfathers and grandmothers in their 50s, theirs is a varied background, coming from 3 different countries and 10 different ethnicities. Theirs is a heartwrenching story of detention, abuse, fear, neglect, and humiliation. But these are stories of resilience, courage, hope and love as well.

Read their stories here. People who are of your age, or of your children’s age, or your parents’.

Normal human beings, of flesh and blood, hopes and dreams, like you and me.

About the Author

My name is Aris. I am 37 this year, and yes, I am a Malaysian. I decided to undertake this project for various reasons. I got involved in refugee work in Malaysia after coming back from Darfur, Sudan. There, as was in Malaysia, I worked with an international medical NGO called Doctors Without Borders or Medecins Sans Frontiers (“MSF” for short).

MSF closed the Malaysian project early this year after handing over their projects to various local NGOs. Closing a project is never easy, because it means you say goodbye to the very people you want to help. Before moving on to another overseas posting or other volunteer positions, I thought this is something I could do with little help or funding from other people. In the course of working with refugees in Malaysia, one of the things that I found out early on was that not many people knew there are actually refugees here! So the main aim of this website is awareness – who are these people? where did they come from? why did they come? how is life in Malaysia?

Is this Website Biased? – This link is for people who likes to think about things a lot, like me! Some people are naturally suspicious, looking for ulterior motives or conspiracy theories all the time. This may make for good reading.

14 Responses to “About”

  1. mariakristin Says:

    Great site…very interesting in light of the blog I began today. youridentity.wordpress.com

  2. Mehdi Says:

    yeah refugees are human. this century is refugee’s century

  3. meimei Says:

    aris,
    thanks for showing the faces of refugees to some of the blessed and bias malaysian. you are right, faces of refugees are lost when they are forced to struggle for a new life in a foreign land.

  4. Habib Says:

    There is no one illegal in the World. The God create only the earth for human beings before was not more than one or two.Freedom is God given rights for all human beings and there is no one to dissuade. In the era, even some people did not belong to a confine territory, they had been comprised under an emperior or a state by Warrior.

  5. Hantu Laut Says:

    It’s an eye opener, never knew we have that many in Malaysia.I noticed most of your articles are on refugees from Myanmar.Are there other nationalities and whether you have the ethnic breadown?

    There is nothing worst than having your freedom taken away from you.My heart goes out to all the poor,helpless and defenceless people where ever they may be.

    I must salute you for you voluntary work in Darfur.I wish I can do the same.It is unthinkable that even in our so-called modern day society we still have human beasts that can inflict so much misery and atrocities against others who are helpless and defenceless.

    I frequently post on my blog the genocide in Darfur to be bring more awareness to the rest of the world of the human tragedy there.I think we all should contribute whatever little we can to make this world a safer place for the poor,weak and helpless people.

  6. Hantu Laut Says:

    Just to let you know, your website was sent to me by a good doctor friend of mine, whom, I believe, is familiar to you.I have bookmarked your site.Keep up the good work.

  7. dbctan Says:

    thanks for the great effort. i shall certainly link it on my blog and pass the word around.

  8. Carmen Says:

    Something to think about..

    My sons friend had a birthday party last week. I asked the mum (a dear friend of mine) what would you litttle darling like for his 7th Birthday… She told me…” My son has requested that all donations be in cash so that this year he can donate towards the Myanmar fund for the children”. I agreed to do this and told my son what his friend was doing… He seemed as interested as myself, and has decided to do the same thing for his birthday.. \
    It dawned on me that if we can educate our children the future leaders and generations can learn from their experiences and spread the word..
    I felt I had to share this information! Here’s to a Brighter Future!!
    A interesting and informative

  9. Thazin Hession Says:

    Hi Aris
    I work with some of the Myanmar refugees you interviewed and was incredibly moved by your work. I came to work with them via MSF and have continued since their departure last year. Half of my students are Buddhist – Rakhine and Shan and I am contacting as many Buddhist communities as I can in the US in the hope of raising awareness of their plight and hopefully gaining sponsorship for resettlement. I would like to direct those I write to to your site … would that be OK with you?
    Thanks for your wonderful work.

  10. ck Says:

    hi Aris I’m very appreciate for all the hard work that you have done! I get to know bout your website from a myanmar friend of mine! I would like to help pratically. you may please reply to me.

  11. Carey Suante Says:

    Great Work!

    Please keep the info coming…especially about the injustices meted out to our brothers and sisters in Malaysia. Hopefully there will be people concerned to help and pray for them!

    God Bless!

  12. Haida Says:

    Hi Aris, it’s is very commendable to see the work you have put up here. I’m Singaporean currently living in West Africa. I worked and researched on Burmese refugees before and it’s a tragedy the world needs to sit up and take serious action on. Your government and mine are almost nonchalant about these matters. In particular mine. The situation has been a protracted one and more needs to b done. I think it’s great that you are doing this, so more in our part of the world will stop being so selfish and start to think about issues like these, issues right at their doorstep.

  13. Flowerchild Says:

    Hi Hi. I just started 3 days ago a blog about a little Chin Baby and his daily care and needs. http://www.isauthinn.wordpress.com. I hope you don’t mind me making a link to your blog.


  14. thank you, Keep up the Great work :)

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