There are various things you can do to help refugees in Malaysia.

1. You can write a letter to Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi and the Home Affairs Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd Radzi, reminding them of Malaysia’s international obligations towards asylum seekers and refugees (addresses provided below). Remind them that the Home Affairs Minister can use his power under section 55 of the Immigration Act to exempt asylum seekers and refugees from getting arrested under the Immigration Act, while Malaysia develops sound policies and procedures to handle these vulnerable groups. This is in line with the concluding comments of the Committee of the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

2. Also write to the Director General of the Immigration Department, Tuan Hj Wahid bin Md Don, and the Director General of RELA, Dato’ Zaidon Bin Hj. Asmuni, urging them to stop arresting refugees with UNHCR documentation, and to allow UNHCR officials to access, verify and document all asylum seekers (addresses provided below). Those who are verified as refugees should be released immediately, as they should not be detained indefinitely in immigration detention centres.

3. Write to your Member of Parliament expressing your concern about the lack of just policies concerning refugees in Malaysia. Ask him/her to raise this at Parliament. Also ask him/her to question the Ministry of Home Affairs about why the process for issuing IMM13 work permits to Rohingyas was suspended, and why it has not been continued, despite promises since October 2004 that Rohingyas would be given these as a humanitarian act recognising their precarious position in Malaysia.

4. Raise awareness about refugees. You can blog about them, send letters to newspapers expressing your opinions, write articles for newsletters, etc. Another wordpress project is Refugees SG, which was started by students in Singapore about refugees in Southeast Asia.

5. Hold talks in your schools, colleges, universities and places of worship about the refugee situation in Malaysia. You can contact organisations such as SUARAM and Amnesty International Malaysia to speak at your events. You can also volunteer for these organisations; they run refugee awareness campaigns.

6. Contact the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and ask them how you can contribute to the lives of refugees. You can either make donations or volunteer to work with them. Get your friends, schools, or organisations involved – sponsor medical assistance for refugees, donate books and stationery to a community school, volunteer to teach, offer to visit refugees in prisons and detention centers, befriend refugee women. You can reach UNHCR Malaysia at +603 2141 1322 or email MLSLU at

Whenever you read about refugees around the world, remember that we too have them in Malaysia, and they are in need of our protection and assistance. Each of us makes a difference.

Useful addresses:

Prime Minister
Y.B. Dato’ Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi
Prime Minister’s Department, Block 1
Federal Government Administration Centre
62502 Putrajaya
Selangor, Malaysia

Minister of Home Affairs
Y.B. Dato’ Seri Mohd Radzi bin Sheikh Ahmad
Kementerian Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri, Malaysia
Blok D2, Parcel D
Federal Government Administration Centre
62546 Putrajaya
Selangor, Malaysia
Fax : +603 8889 1613 / 8889 1610

Director General of Immigration Department
Tuan HJ. Wahid Bin MD Don
Director General Office
Immigration Department of Malaysia
Level 1-7 (Podium) Block 2G-4, Precinct 2
Federal Government Administration Centre
62550 Putrajaya
Selangor, Malaysia
Fax: +60 3 8880 1200

Director General of RELA
Dato’ Zaidon Bin Hj. Asmuni
RELA Malaysia Headquarters
Level 6, Block D2, Parcel D,
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62546 Putrajaya
Selangor, Malaysia
Fax: +603 8888 6314

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)
Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman
Chairman, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia
Level 29, Menara Tun Razak, Jalan Raja Laut
50350 Kuala Lumpur
Fax: +60 3 26125620


11 Responses to “Do Something”

  1. fareen Says:

    Great site Aris.

  2. sloone Says:

    aris, i have blogged about it:

    it’s a great blog. keep up the great work!

  3. aiyoo Says:

    I’ve posted and linked this on my blogg. What else can I do to help?

    Thank you Aris.

  4. RC Says:

    Support the Alliance of Chin Refugees (ACR) in Malaysia! They have a handicraft project for women which you can directly contribute to by buying the traditional handicrafts or through donations. For more information contact John on 016 6343514 or

  5. Steve Oh Says:

    Hi Aris,

    Thank you for putting up this website to publicise the plight of the refugees. Knowing is not enough – it is doing something about it – however small the deed – that counts. You have my email. Please contact me and advise how we can offer humanitarian aid through the proper channels. I’d also like to get your advice on what else can be done and share some of my ideas with you. BTW excellent graphics and photo stories. God bless you.

  6. Steve Oh Says:

    Oh yes and thank you Hon Yi Wen for writing the story in Malaysiakini…

  7. Ann Says:

    Aris, WELL DONE !!! I admire your spunk. I think I know someone who can help……

  8. Louison Says:

    if you can not read this message, please click on this link

  9. Aris,

    Great work you are putting here.
    Email me back. I’d be happy to assist in anyway I can.


  10. Michelle Says:

    Do you think you can make your ‘slide-show’ downloadable — so people can help to raise awareness by placing the slide-show, and then linking to fiftyrefugees? Also, maybe include more practical day-to-day things taht one can do to help these refugees, even if it’s just a smile?
    Thanks for putting this together, great stuff.

  11. zila Says:

    great site!

    thank u for raising awareness!

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