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6 New Born Babies from Myanmar

released from Malaysian immigration detention facility – UNHCR story

ka.jpg6 Month Old Baby Girl from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Chin)

a baby girl born in Kajang Prison, Malaysia


6 Year Old Girl from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Karen)


the last time she went out was 4 years ago


7 Year Old Girl from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Zomi)

“She is very talkative. She is open and frank. The elder sister does what I tell her to, but she is always saying “why are you asking me to do this? She is like me,” the mother says, smiling.

ta.jpg7 and 9 Year Old Brothers from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Zomi)

aua.jpgt least for TA, who loves ice cream (any kind) and want to be a soldier and a missionary because a soldier fights bad guys, and UA who loves fried fish and wants to become an engineer and a missionary because he loves to build, life in Malaysia has some semblance of normality

15 Year Old Girl from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Kachin)

We went to our parents. We were both crying. They kept asking us what happened

15 Year Old Girl from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Zomi)ra.jpg loves Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez

16 Year Old Girl from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Kachin)

QQ misses her mother all the time. All she has now as a reminder is a pair of earrings she got as a present from her parents for passing standard 4.

17 Year Old Boy from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Kachin)

“I am so sad all the time. I have never been separated from my mother for so long, and I am now in a different country where I don’t understand what people are saying”ba.jpg

18 Year Old Boy from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Zomi)

Only a boy, he ran to Malaysia without knowing anybody. “How is life in Malaysia”, I asked? “I don’t know“, BA replied. “I have never been out of the jungle.”

untitled6.jpg25 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Kachin)

RESILIENCE – a frankly horrifying story of human trafficking and slave labour abroad a Thai fishing boat

aa1.jpg26 Year Old Woman from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Arakan / Rakhine)

mother of a 7 year old son – a UNHCR card holder detained, deported, imprisoned in Malaysia. her husband was still in detention at the time of writing

27 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Kachin)

xx.jpg28 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Mon)

arriving in Malaysia only 2 months before being interviewed, he ran from being forcibly conscripted into the army

img_9940.jpg29 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Arakan / Rakhine)

running away after an incident during forced labour, he ran first to Thailand, then to Malaysia. he dreams of freedom, liberty, and a free life.

untitled41.jpg29 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Arakan / Rakhine)

he ran away because the government took his land, and then forced him to work on it. he has been jobless for 4 months at the time of writing.

untitled8.jpg29 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Arakan / Rakhine)

read how as a fisherman, he had to pay compensation in lieu of forced labour. eventually he ran out of money and his wife left him.


30 Year Old Man from Sri Lanka (Ethnicity : Tamil)

“But I can’t go back. If I go back, there will be big problem for me. They will catch me. They will put me in jail. Malaysia is better. There is no fighting.”

ga.jpg30 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Chin)

a tour of 3 detention centres in Malaysia – Ajil in Terengganu, Pekan Nenas in Johor, and Tanah Merah in Kelantan. a UNHCR card holder, he was nevertheless arrested and shuffled to detention centres for 7 months until he signed a voluntary deportation letter

fa2.jpg30 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Chin)

what 2 lashings of the rotan (cane) in a Malaysian prison feels like

paul6.jpg30 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Chin)

Read how a psychology student had to flee Myanmar. he now works for his community, but has stories to tell about detention, arrest, prison and deportation

img_9641.jpg32 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Arakan / Rakhine)

the story of a man who has been a farmer, a fisherman, a monk, a mechanic, a rubber tapper, a welder, a waiter and a Cakoi seller (a kind of long fried doughnut sold usually by the roadside)untitled31.jpg

33 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Arakan / Rakhine)

What MM really wanted to tell was how his sister died because of forced labour

untitled11.jpg33 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Arakan / Rakhine)

FEAR – as I look into his eyes, I know now what it is like to be hunted down like an animalja.jpg

33 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Zomi)

HOPE – a story with a happy ending. read about the story of his resettlement to Melbourne, Australia, after 3 long years in detention centre

ia2.jpg33 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Zomi)

COMPASSION – “I don’t want to resettle yet because I want to help my people.Because if I don’t help them, nobody will help them”.

yy.jpg33 Year Old Woman from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Zomi)

COURAGE – the story of how a HIV positive woman fights for the future of her five children

ha.jpg34 Year Old Woman from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Chin)

pregnancy and birth in Kajang prison, Malaysia

da.jpg34 Year Old Woman from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Kachin)

She has been living in a jungle camp in Malaysia for 8 months. Read why she had to flee Myanmar.

untitled2.jpg35 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Arakan / Rakhine)

“When I talked to my daughter, she told me that she wants to be a teacher. She wants to teach other people. She is very smart. Everybody tells me she is smart.”

36 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Arakan / Rakhine)

img_9863.jpg38 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Arakan / Rakhine)

fleeing forced conscription, he ran, leaving behind his farm, his wife, his kids

ww2.jpg39 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Mon)

how a 38 year old man thinks that sleeping in the jungle in Malaysia is better than being back in Myanmar

untitled.jpg39 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Arakan / Rakhine)

ss.jpg40 Year Old Woman from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Mon)

rape in Malaysia

ab.jpg41 Year Old Woman from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Zomi)

DESPAIR “There is nothing that makes me happy here…”

tt1.jpg42 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Mon)

They held my arms behind my back like this when they were raping my wife.”untitled51.jpg

42 Year Old Woman from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Kachin)

LOVE If there is a better mother out there, then I wouldn’t know about it.


42 Year Old Woman from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Karen)

My daughter cannot go to school here. I don’t care where I get resettled. All I want is to live in peace and give my child a good education.”


45 Year Old Woman from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Shan)

“I have not had enough sleep for the past 6 months. We were always scared of arrest or robbers”

va2.jpg50 Year Old Man from Iran (Ethnicity : Kurd)


I have no money. No rest – if I rest, I die, baby die.

50 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Zomi)

zz.jpgWe can only trust in God. When we see our situation now, there is nothing to be happy about.”


55 Year Old Man from Myanmar (Ethnicity : Karen)

LOVE died of TB last year – his story as told by his wife

62 Responses to “Their Stories”

  1. worldwind Says:

    Well done Aris. I’m so glad someone has done this. A Malaysian certainly needed to. – AA

  2. elizabethwong Says:

    An invaluable documentation. Congratulations, and may this government’s eyes and hearts be unveiled to see that these people represent humanity, not pieces of travel papers.
    Thank you.

  3. No End Says:

    Men are beasts in these circumstances where they can exert power. They expose the uncivilized half of their minds.

  4. tan Says:

    I like to let my friends know. Please add a button of “Recommend this site to friends”.

  5. Zen Says:

    Hi Aris,

    Appreciate your hard work to help Myanmar refugees in Malaysia. I do want to ask you something about some Myanmar people working in Malaysia. They have contract to work certain job but when they are in the job they are asked to do extra responsibilities and over time which they are not paid. Is there any right of employee to complain? Help.

  6. luclai Says:

    hi! i came here via susan loone’s blog. good work you are doing with this website. indeed, these people ought to be heard. i will sure mentioned this site in my blog. it so happened our church is going to embark on a project to help one group of refugees, so it would be timely for me to blog on it (that project and your site).

  7. cc Says:

    Please give a contact/NGO that is involved in helping these people.

  8. arifabdull Says:

    great work and well done!

  9. Joseph Lim Says:

    They have suffered and endured much. May God have mercy on them.

  10. sampulnak Says:

    i am a daughter of a refugee. My mom came from philippines. enter malaysia illegally 23 years ago.

    she rejected by the government to have any valid document to be malaysia legal resident although she married to a malaysian.

    it’s hard for us, because we have to use fake mother to register our birth certificate, i always in constant fear to mention my origin or my mother, and my ypungest brother have difficulty to get his nationality.

    I hope one day, someone will know how much money we have to bribe the local officer just to make sure they leave my mother in live in peace and keep our family together.

    I hope someday everyone will notice our life and difficulties here in eastern sabah.

  11. sankai Says:

    the story touched me well…thanks..people should know about this site..

  12. Ben Says:

    Aren’t we one race, the human race?

  13. Dick van der Tak Says:

    Very impressive website, that shows the beauty and the cruelty of mankind in 50 personal stories. What a great idea. How would you feel, if you were one of them?
    Big bravo for the production team of this site.

  14. Mark Says:

    A humbling series of stories, because I like most people, take too much for granted, and we have too little regard for the things that we do not — or do not choose — to see. We’re too wrapped up in our Facebook-type lives to see the harshness and the horror inherent in these — tales? — to call them them that would in a sense romantise their stories. And I realise that these people have not had the privilege nor the right.

    Unlike us.

  15. Hamdan Says:

    Very impressive work.Glad that these stories are told.Hope the authorities are more concerned about the plight of these refugees especially the children and their mothers.

  16. ruffey Says:

    thank you

    i’m touched 🙂

  17. jamil aris Says:

    What can we do to help these people?
    I don’t have any idea. To adopt one or two is not good enough.
    When a person is in need for help, it is our duty to help. We do not know when we may need help.
    Any ideas or proposals are welcomed.
    Jamil Aris

  18. shan Says:

    Well done, Aris.

  19. Michelle Says:

    It’s really heartbreaking to hear how someone in position of fewer privileges was treated less than human.

    Well done, Aris on highlighting this issues. If there’s anything we can do to help…

  20. mariaoth Says:

    Thank you Aris, for bringing this to light.

    I’m so touched.

  21. Viv Says:

    I am humbled by their courage and resilience. I have just taken a large dose of perspective for my problems.
    Thank you Aris.

  22. Mat Salo Says:

    Excellent, Aris. I commend you for giving the refugees a voice, and hopefully their plight would be ipmrpoved with the exposure. Very well-written interviews with excellent photography too!

  23. dikken Says:

    their child should get formal education,
    how can we help them,try all we can best.

  24. MalaysianWoman Says:

    I commend you for your tremendous effort in bringing attention to the plight of these refugees. Ultimately, there has to be external forces to exert pressure on our policy makers and law enforcement officers to stop the horrendous atrocities that are happening to the refugees on a daily basis on our very own shores. Also, I cannot understand what has happened to the moral fibre of our society this last 50 years – what kind of upbringing our law enforcement officers have – to have no emphathy whatsoever and to heap on these refugees such abuse and cruelty. There are no words for it ….
    (Every few months, my family gathers unused clothes, children’s toys, food, etc from generous friends, neighbors and relatives … to send to any centre or camp that needs it most. We know we can’t be the savior for all but if we can alleviate the suffering of only one person in my lifetime – I’m thankful for the chance.)

  25. xenon Says:

    to all refugees,

    we would love to help, but we do not have the
    political will to do so. so, pls choose other places to go, or come with your own risked.

    among the basic necessities such as protecting the rights of Malaysians is already a challenging task for ourselves, pls you cant blame us for not doing enough for you my poor refugees.

    politicians will use your name, as to why crime rate is increasing. they will use u to show their generosity and kindness and abandon u when have no further value.

    to all refugees, come at your own risk, we welcome you… to show us the reality of natural selection and evolution, survival of the fittest.

    best of luck

  26. sleepeikoala Says:

    “We know we can’t be the savior for all but if we can alleviate the suffering of only one person in my lifetime – I’m thankful for the chance.”

    malaysian woman: very well said…I like your quote. I’m going to put it in my sig file…:)

  27. sankai Says:

    i use your slide…hopefully u dont mind ;)..

  28. Shareen Says:

    oh my god! i thought this happened in other parts of the world! *shocked and angry*

    what can me malaysians living abroad do to help these refugees?

  29. Ika Says:

    They are the “survivors”.
    Really proud of this website.
    Well done Aris!

  30. anandhi Says:

    i admit that i had it within to read no more than three stories, tears were clouding my vision too much to see and my heart ached too much to go on. especially when they seem to ask only for the most basic of human needs – recognition – and we are still unable to provide. begs the question of the value of the 50 years of independence we so proudly brag about. the mere existence of some of these stories only mean as a nation we are far more insecure than we let ourselves believe, and it is a sense of denial we have to look past quickly.

    aris, i salute you not only for for being gifted with the inspiration to do this, but also for the strength of mind and soul it must have taken.

    awareness thus having been built, how can we help?

  31. Ann Says:

    I am involved in Social work in Church and would like to volunter. I know that things do happen but never in my life did I think it is to that extend. How can I help in any way?

  32. KT Says:

    Thank you for enlightening us. Few are aware of this secret sorrow.

    There is so much we take for granted.

    Please read this post, for a story of yet another refugee: http://tconnection.blogspot.com/2006/12/when-palm-trees-petronas-towers.html

  33. Ida Bakar Says:

    Dear Aris,

    Thank you for bringing the plight of these refugees to the fore. As a non-resident Malaysian, there are very few opportunities to learn about these potential Malaysians.

    We are all refugees in some ways – migrants who seek better lives elsewhere.

    I shall spread the word.

  34. Pi Bani Says:

    Great work! Thanks for opening our eyes!

  35. Md.Rafique Ibn Habib Ullah Says:

    Dear Aris,
    Thanks a lot of for opening your inner-sight for our oppressed Rohingya Muslim Refugees staying in Malaysia. Really your helping mind is great ! You may get best reward from Almighty Allah.

    With thanks. See you later.

    Md.Rafique Ibn Habib Ullah
    Secretery General
    Arakan Muslim Youth Association (AMYA)
    Arakan (Burma)
    E-mail: amyaarkan@yahoo.com

  36. Minn Says:

    Deeply touched. While many people are indulged in business deals for material gain, it is great to know that there are courageous people who are stil enthusiastic to promote humanity and charity.


  37. Hkun Says:


    It is a heart breaking story of immigrants in Malaysia. I feels that this world is created by God for everyone, one should live where he/she feels safe or please.

    I hope someday Malaysian government will open up for people who suffered enough.


  38. Cecilia Robert Says:

    Malaysian can show that we are capable of being kind and humanitarian. For every one person that abuses there can be 100s that care. UNHCR is always looking for volunteers. English classes to prepare them for their future is on going. As a volunteer I can only say that we can get more than we can give from meeting these people. Every local contact can be of help and consolation to these people. Don’t let them leave our country with negative impressions because they meet only those who abuse them. We can make a difference in our small way, even if it just to give them a reason to smile.

  39. MalaysianWoman Says:

    I think the readers should take note that there are political refugees and there are illegal immigrants. There is a distinction. Though we understand the Malaysian government’s position in controlling population of illegal immigrants, we must ask them to show more compassion for the Myanmar refugees. Due to ethnic cleansing inside their homeland, they have no choice but to flee persecution. I think the events in the past week in Myanmar speaks for itself. We must urge our government to provide a safe haven for these political refugees until such time they can be displaced.
    Otherwise we are just as guilty as their military regime.

  40. Freedom Seeker Says:

    Good job Aris. I hope this step will bring some changes -for good, in future. What is the point of us preach for peace and freedom, if we are afraid of our own shadow? What is the point we repeatedly boast of our success in sending peacetroops, moderating diplomatic dialogues, fighting terrorism etc? Government should open their eyes wider and look into broader aspect to recognize the differences between asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.

  41. Ronald Chua Says:

    I salute your heart Aris!

  42. Dear Aris… I put you blog into my blogroll so that more people can came to your blog and see for themselves the suffering of asylum seekers!…

    with regard: Anuohea Audiya Yue

  43. Drbabyzet Says:

    How Many Myanmar refugee in Malaysia?

  44. Drbabyzet Says:

    I read this 37,000 Refugees ..Is’t Only Myanmar or all country?

  45. breakaway Says:

    the only reason i was reading this blog was because i needed some information to write an essay about refugee. i had no idea that this is actually happening in malaysia! all i know from the news is that these “pendatang tanpa izin” is being held in detention facilities. what crap..

    i thank you for opening my view wider than before. may god bless those unfortunate souls.


  46. kally Says:

    God with us

  47. Kath Says:

    I’ve been to a Chin’s refugees camp with a church trip. It was so sad to see with my own eyes, the situation in the refugees camp and to hear their stories. I wish i could do more to help them.

  48. SamaraRegion Says:

    its the best post from you, thanks a lot

  49. Raja Mongrel Says:

    Here is the latest blog created by my conscience …

    RAJA MONGREL @ http://rajamongrel.blogspot.com/
    Creating An Absolute Monarchy In Malaysia Based On Royal Supremacy

    Hear me confess: My Lies, My Plots, My Hypocrisy … Things that you can never find at my official site @ Malaysia-Today.net

    Yours truly,
    Raja Petra bin Raja Kamarudin (Now & Official)
    Emperor King Sultan Rajah Prophet Nabi Petra Kamarudin (In Progress)
    URL: http://rajamongrel.blogspot.com/

  50. anirtakj Says:

    Dear Aris,

    This is fantastic. I work with refugees in Malaysia – how do I contact you, to discuss possibilities of working together?

    Amazing stuff.


  51. claport Says:

    Very interesting information! Thanks!

  52. Michelle-m Says:

    “MYANMAR” Who will becomes want a refugees. If i say no ones. Many thousand of our people hurted who cares. What is our Gov?How ever their selfish have to takecare of their own people same nation,religion……….see monk also die. So other relagion HOW?>…………………….

  53. weisheng Says:

    omg this is so shocking and sad. i never knew such horrible things happened so close to home. we have to stop this lah.

  54. Shanglawt Says:

    Please keep your great work on !!

  55. lilhaven Says:

    hi aris,
    i looked for more reads on myanmar refugees because my husband and i are currently helping two myanmar refugees family get by with their basic needs. But sometimes i really want to know whattheir rights are. The children were born in Malaysia , but had their birth certificate confiscated during a raid , so they cannot go to school.

    Can you offer any webpages that I can read more about the refugees? Or any volunteer organization helping the Myanmar refugees.
    Many Thanks

  56. gina Says:

    I have read the book revolving door so if any of you could get hold of the book, I recommend it. All through the book I was practically sobbing at the violence and the way these refugees were treated. The root of all these violence is corruption and our govt is no saint! Someone or something have to do something to put a stop to it. These are humans, people like you and me and should not be treated or looked down upon!

  57. Pregnancy Says:

    Nice one for people to read, there are so many lives on earth that is not having a good life as we are now. We all should be proud of what you have. 😀

  58. mohamed Says:

    i totally believe all of these stories. malaysia is still living in paganism. civilization is just a picture. i have been in the immigration camp and seen the unseen. there are worse stories than this.

  59. Sarah Amutha Says:

    I am really impressed with the work and sheer dedication in doing all this research and telling their stories. Im a bit confused in the legality sake. If these immigrants have their UN passport with them and reside in Malaysia, arent they allowed to work?

  60. Sarah Amutha Says:

    I am really impressed with the work and sheer dedication in doing all this research and telling their stories.

    Im a bit confused in the legality sake. If these immigrants have their UN passport with them and reside in Malaysia, arent they allowed to work? Up till their passport expires.

  61. sai Says:

    There is no money no right in this planet.just take a look around the world there is no human right for poor peoples . so human rights n humanitarian are does not existed because of our mankind guilty .

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