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.