Burmese New Year: “May they be blessed with equality”

The Young Liberals and Democrats of Asia hopes the Malaysian government will find a solution to allow undocumented Burmese migrants to work with temporary permits rather than sending them to overcrowded detention camps.

Detention camp in Malaysia - Photo credit: Reuters

Young Liberals & Democrats of Asia (YLDA) President, Hng Chee Wey wishes all Burmese in the world especially the migrants staying in Malaysia and around Asia a Happy Burmese New Year.

As the Burmese usher their New Year (13-16 April) according to the traditional Burma lunisolar calendar, he urges the Malaysian government to treat the Burmese migrants as equal humans whether they are here in the country illegally or with a permit.

Recently, a case of more than 100 detained migrants escaped from the Lenggeng detention centre at Negri Sembilan, the majority believed to be of Burmese descent.

YLDA hopes that the Malaysian government would find a solution to allow these illegal Burmese migrants to work with a temporary permit rather than sending them to detention camps which are overcrowded.

According to AP, the Myanmar embassy often takes six months to register its citizens for deportation and charges them RM620. Calls to the Myanmar embassy were repeatedly put on hold and then unanswered.

“Sending these increasing illegal migrants to detention camps is not a solution. Space has a limit and we cannot keep on building camps to detain them,” said the YLDA President.

“Most of them are only here to earn a living for their poor families living in Burma. The government should work on issuing qualified migrants with a temporary working permit while giving them time to go back to their country,” added Hng.

READ MORE:  Exercise compassion towards undocumented migrants

While some of the migrants travelled to Malaysia to for economic purposes, some of them are political refugees fleeing from political oppression in their homeland.

“As an Asian federation advocating for liberal ideals and democratic principles, we hope that the Burmese people and the government would bring the nation one step ahead towards liberal and democratic reforms,” said Hng.

“I would like to wish all Burmese in Malaysia and around Asia a very happy New Year and be blessed with equality.”

Hng Chee Wey is president of the Young Liberals & Democrats of Asia

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.