Malaysia receives first batch of 3,000 Syrian refugees
Dec 9, Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia has received the first batch of Syrian refugees, eight people from two families, out of a total of 3,000 it plans to allow into the country.
All of those eight people have relatives working in Malaysia who appealed to authorities for help, reports said.
Malaysia and the Philippines said earlier this year they would accept Syrian migrants. However, Malaysia is not a signatory of the UN convention on refugees.
Prime Minister Najib Razak has said Malaysia, a majority Muslim country, would accept 3,000 migrants from Syria over the next three years to help ease the strain.
Authorities have said that temporary visiting passes will be issued to the Syrians who arrived on Wednesday evening, news reports said.
They are family members of Mohamed Ibrahim and Ali Abdul Nasser, two Syrians who have been working as hairstylists in Malaysia since 2012, according to The Malaysian Insider.
The news portal quoted deputy home minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed as saying that the eight were not yet considered refugees as they had yet to be recognised as such by the UN.
Europe faces a crisis in which hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Syria and other countries are seeking asylum.
The Oslo Times