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CONTENTS:

1. Background and Recommendations

2. Four Interviews

3. Sample letter to Malaysian government

4. Sources and Links

We Built This City:
Workers from Burma at Risk in Malaysia

Project Maje, July 2007

Background and Recommendations

Having fled regions of Burma which are among the closest equivalents of hell on earth, refugees from an array of ethnic groups have found an uneasy stopping point in Malaysia. They have run for their lives from forced labor, land confiscation, agricide, military rape and torture, religious persecution, and other severe human rights violations, as well as in some cases forced conscription into the very government army that is committing these crimes. While Malaysia does not border Burma, and is distant from the inland homes of many of the refugees, it is within reach of the Burma/Thailand border. Malaysia has become a particular destination for refugees from areas of Burma that do not border Thailand, the traditional first stop for those who have fled Burma.

improvised shelter One early wave reaching Malaysia after the suppression of Burma's 1988 democracy uprising was the Rohingya refugees from western Burma, who share their Muslim religion with Malaysia's majority. The other largest ethnic sector from Burma currently in Malaysia are the Chins, who are indigenous Christians from Burma's remote mountainous northwest. Currently the refugees in Malaysia also include Mons, Kachins, Rakhines, Shans, Karens, Karennis and Burmese (Burmans.) There are no completely accurate census figures available for these often transient populations of refugees, although organizations for each ethnic group do try to make estimates and keep lists of known residents in Malaysia. The Rohingyas probably number from 15,000 to at least 20,000; the Chins probably number from 18,000 to at least 20,000; the Mons may number from 10,000 to more than 12,000; and the other groups are probably in the 2,000 to 6,000 range. At present, most refugees from Burma reach Malaysia by land through Thailand, their route facilitated by paid professional traffickers, although some arrive directly from Burma by boat. In addition to these refugees, there are also "migrant workers" who arrive in Malaysia under contracts arranged through agents in Burma, but they are vulnerable to the same lack of protection as any refugees who arrive with no contracts or contacts.

Over the past decade, refugees from Burma have often been able to find employment in Malaysia, especially in the construction and restaurant sectors. Malaysia is a multiethnic country, and Burma refugees can manage to blend in, especially if they can speak Chinese or English, or learn some of the Malay language. Malaysia also has larger populations of refugees from Indonesia's Aceh province, as well as migrants from elsewhere in Indonesia, Bangladesh and other countries. With a peace accord holding in Aceh, the Acehnese are no longer technically considered refugees, but economic migrants. For people from Burma, there can be economic opportunities in Malaysia, at least at a survival level, and even some educational possibilities, but the true factor sending them on a dangerous journey out of their homeland is an overwhelming and well founded fear of persecution, often based on previous first hand experience of abuse.

At the turn of the 21st Century, Malaysia experienced an immense construction boom, especially in and around the largest city, Kuala Lumpur. Refugee and immigrant labor was crucial to achievement of enormous projects from the signature Petronas Twin Towers to entirely new cities: the government seat Putrajaya and high-tech Cyberjaya. Kuala Lumpur's luxury hotels, high rise condos and other urban amenities have been built by hands from Burma and Indonesia, changing the look of what was once a rather sleepy tropical town. The irony of workers dwelling in scrub-jungle shanties or cramped tenements while taking part in the rise of new shining cities, is obvious. While Malaysians can take pride in their first-world infrastructure in 2007, the year of celebration of the nation's 50th year of Merdeka (Independence), the foreign workers can take much of the credit.

Unfortunately, instead of receiving gratitude and sympathy, the foreigners have been victims of a new, intensified wave of persecution in the last two years. A vigilante force called Rela has been given free reign to invade, attack and arrest refugees from Burma. Malaysian public opinion has never been wholly sympathetic to the Burma workers. Foreigners are frequently blamed for criminal activity in mainland Malaysia. This applies specifically to Indonesian gangs but the Burma groups can be lumped in with them. In turn, the workers from Burma have been attacked and even killed by Indonesians in Malaysia in the past. In 2004 the Malaysian government announced that it would grant refugee status and identity cards  to at least the Rohingya refugees, but that was apparently never followed through with.

Refugees, some of whom have now been in Malaysia for decades, generally eventually seek asylum in the form of official refugee status from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office, which comes, if they are very persistent and not unlucky, in the form of an identity card. The UNHCR office in Malaysia has itself been controversial, with operations suspended for periods of time, and accusations by refugees of discrimination and even corruption. NGOs formed by the refugees themselves assist in dealing with the UNHCR and seeking third country resettlement, providing advice, translation and advocacy.  

The UNHCR accreditation can be a step in achieving resettlement to a third country. This has become more common, with the United States, Canada, Australia and European Union countries accepting Burma refugees out of Malaysia. Security measures in the US and slow processing elsewhere leave even the refugees who are listed for resettlement vulnerable during long waits to leave Malaysia, however.

If arrested in Malaysia, by Immigration authorities, Rela or the police force, refugees from Burma are usually sentenced to serve time (generally one to six months) in an immigration jail or camp, and increasingly the men may be "lashed" a certain amount of strokes with a rattan cane (the scars serve to mark them, should they return and be caught again.) These humiliating and painful lashings may be especially traumatic for those who have already suffered torture in Burma. After their sentence is served, the Burma refugees are deported over the Malaysia/Thailand border.

Chin construction worker, Malaysia On the Thailand side the deportees are normally delivered to "agents." If the refugees can then contact people who have money available back where they lived in Malaysia (usually Kuala Lumpur) then monetary payment is sent to the agent, who then arranges for the refugees' return to Malaysia. In many cases, this ransoming works smoothly. If not, the refugees are in serious trouble. Men are often sold onto Thai fishing boats where they may or may not ever earn money for return to Malaysia. Women and girls are at risk of rape in custody and of being taken away for forced prostitution in Thailand. Other options for earning agent money reportedly include work in factories or begging. Children and teenagers may be particularly vulnerable during this stage, especially if on their own or separated from parents. People actually disappear during in this process.

In June 2007, the US Government announced that Malaysia was added to its Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report, on the Tier 3 list of the world's worst human trafficking offenders. One of the main reasons for Malaysia's inclusion was the government's failure to protect foreign workers from unpaid labor. Malaysian government officials objected strongly to the listing, but refugees from Burma considered it valid because of the syndrome so many had experienced: workers not paid by some construction companies, immigration raids called before paydays, and the revolving door of arrest/agents/arrest/agents profiting corrupt Malaysian and Thai officials. The ongoing Rela raids, with their indiscriminate dragnet of foreigners, have added even more abuse to this hopeless cycle.

Rela (an abbreviation for Ikatan Relawan Rakyat -- People's Volunteer Corps) was founded in 1972, with powers from the 1964 Emergency (Essential Powers) Act of Malaysia's turbulent Cold War post-Independence era, as a force that could be called on to help maintain national security. Since then, Rela's role has normally been to assist during natural disasters such as flooding, although even that function has not been without reports of abuse such as looting. Rela has acquired special powers of search and seizure, and arrest without warrant that not even the regular police possess. This has sometimes caused friction with the regular police. Rela volunteers, currently as many as 475,000, purchase uniforms (with a yellow beret), although they also operate in "plain clothes." They are armed with sticks and Rela officers carry guns. There is little, if any training and no background checks for the volunteer force members.

When Datuk Zaidon Asmuni, a former Immigration Department administrator, became director of Rela, he may have personally brought about the increased role of Rela in raids on "illegal immigrants" using public perceptions of immigrant crime as justification. In a highly controversial June 10, 2007 interview with Malaysia's Sunday Star newspaper, Zaidon Asmuni claimed of the Malaysian public, "They praise us because we have managed to overcome a lot of problems related to illegal foreign workers, squatters, and illegal bikers. Four years ago, nobody knew us but today the whole world knows about Rela."  Unlike in other countries, job protection is not a justification for attacks on foreigners, since in labor-shortage prone Malaysia there is an obvious need for foreign labor in several important employment sectors, including hotel/restaurant work, factory work and agriculture as well as construction.

Victims of a typical Rela raid on foreigners were described by a witness as "chased, kicked and beaten." An article, "Rela and Malaysia's Invisible War" in the Malaysian publication Aliran Monthly, January 24, 2007, termed the victims "hunted, hounded, harassed and detained," continuing, "While most Malaysians are sleeping peacefully in the wee hours of the morning, it is a time of terror for the migrants. It does not matter if they are documented or undocumented migrants. These are the dark hours of fear and terror of raids conducted by Rela (the People's Volunteer Corps). Reports of these night raids read like horror stories, about human beings brutalised and humiliated, robbed, dragged out of their beds, forced into trucks that take them away to certain detention centres, of which the general public know very little about."

Abuses by Rela against foreigners have been vigorously protested by Malaysian NGOs including SUARAM, with calls for Rela to be disbanded. According to a June 25, 2007 press release by the Chin Human Rights Group, "RELA, the untrained task force largely responsible for conducting immigration raids, has been the focus of consistent complaints for human rights violations and abuse of power. RELA has been responsible for deliberate property damage, extortion, harassment, indiscriminate and unlawful arrests, and physical assaults resulting in serious injuries and even death. Increasingly, there are calls for an end to RELA's activities, with the Malaysia-based human rights group SUARAM issuing two separate complaints to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) within the last year and the Malaysian Bar calling for RELA's immediate disbandment in March." The strongly-worded resolution passed unanimously by the legal sector organization, the Malaysian Bar Council, in March 2007 cited specific cases of serious abuse by Rela, and documented how obsolete and irrelevant are the Emergency Powers laws used to justify the existence of Rela. In May 2007, a Malaysian citizen, Chen Yau Choy, operator of a food court which Rela had raided, filed suit against Rela for corruption and abuse of power. During the raid, Chen's foreign employees were arrested, bribes were allegedly demanded, and then, after he protested, Chen himself was detained.

Human Rights Watch issued its own statement on Rela in May 2007, "Malaysia: Disband Abusive Volunteer Corps." It spotlighted an array of Rela's human rights violations. HRW's Asia Director, Brad Adams, commented that the the government of Malaysia "has set up what's little more than a vigilante force to target foreigners. Given RELA's repeated abuses, it should be disbanded right away." Amnesty International has also criticized Rela's violence against foreign workers. Such concerns were the subject of a program on satellite television station Al Jazeera on May 24, 2007, "Malaysia Acts Tough on Immigration." A February 16, 2006 BBC report, "Malaysia's Mystery Migrant Deaths" focused on the suspected killings of five foreigners during a Rela raid in February 2006 (deaths unreported in local media.) Rela raids victimize Indonesian, Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Africans and other foreigners as well as the refugees from Burma. In June 2007, a non-Burmese foreigner was said to have jumped from an apartment building in an attempt to avoid Rela raiders and been seriously injured.

Rela received some negative publicity and even criticism from Malaysia's Tourism Minister when its volunteers arrested an Indian television producer, Sanjiv Mishra (working on a series called "Dream Hotel") on one raid, and an African-American US Navy lawyer, Wayne Wright on another. Wright told the BBC, "Honestly this was probably the worst experience I have had in my life."  When questioned about these incidents in the interview with the Sunday Star, Rela director-general Datuk Zaidon Asmuni said: "The Indian crew member was walking through Petaling Street at 9.30 pm. If it's a Mat Salleh (Caucasian), it would be easy because we would know he is a tourist for sure. But for others, we have to check."

Malaysia is a democracy, whose own citizens voice a respect for the rule of law and value diversity, so the existence of Rela is troubling to many, and is even seen as a symptom of a trend towards militarization or authoritarianism. Malaysian bloggers have called Rela everything from "pests" to "dangerous" and "a band of bandits" (and its director "a racist.") Yet Rela seems to be a force with a momentum of its own. There had been a bounty paid by the government of 80 ringgit to Rela members for each "illegal immigrant" caught. More recently, with the bounty canceled, Rela members are said to "shake down" the victims of their raids, with those unable to pay an immediate bribe summarily arrested. In recent raids, Rela members have even singled out and seized those with UNHCR cards in an apparent effort to intimidate them. Refugees in various stages of the resettlement process for third countries, including the US, have been and are incarcerated in immigration jails or camps due to Rela raids.

At a time when the huge infrastructure projects begun during the administration of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir are essentially completed, making construction sector employment harder to get, Burma refugees are increasingly living in a new climate of fear, dreading being picked up by Rela agents or taken in one of their nighttime mass raids. The old construction camps around Putrajaya have largely been abandoned because of this. There is still a need for foreign workers, especially in Kuala Lumpur, but the Rela raids are disrupting their participation in the economy, creating a negative effect on the Malaysian employers, as well as on landlords and others who benefit from the presence of the foreigners. Many Malaysian citizens have themselves been taken away in Rela raids by mistake, or harassed for their opposition to Rela. Thousands have had their lives disrupted by Rela identity checks.

Rela seems to be on the rise as a means to make money or grab cellphones and other property from despised and helpless foreigners. It seems to be a "male bonding" method for perhaps otherwise normal men to don a uniform, carry a big stick and revel in a sense of power over others, "weekend warriors" gone wrong. As a Malaysian blogger, Lucia Lai, put it: "if you fancy being judge dredd who go around shouting 'ayam telur' ('i am the law' lah!), just go and apply to be a rela member - you'll be accepted at once without any questions. flashing your rela card, you now have the authority to arrest or harass anyone you suspect/judge to be an illegal immigrant." A post to another Malaysian blog read: "I have always wondered why these Rela fellas are so dedicated to their task. Do they not have kids to discipline? Wives to entertain? Clothes to iron? ...The efforts seen in these Rela fellas goes beyond mere civic-mindedness. They are not jumping over factory walls, risking their lives because of their love for the country and its people; they are not even doing it because of their commitment to the corps and the task at hand.... they are doing it because it is sadistically fun and it pays."

During the Visit Malaysia Year tourism promotion of 2007, the ubiquitous slogan has been "Malaysia: Truly Asia" -- an expression of the vivid multiculturalism distinguishing the nation. For Malaysia to really "be Asia" the country should admit and accept that people from other countries in Asia, including Burma, do live and work there, and do contribute to building, feeding and growing a vibrant and thriving nation. A BBC photo caption put it succinctly: "Migrants are key to Malaysia's economy."

This is a time when many refugees are actively being processed to third countries and when most are contributing to the continued economic growth of Malaysia. Their role in Malaysia's extraordinary progress should be recognized and appreciated -- Malaysia would not look the same without their hard work. In New York City, many of the skyscraper buildings came into being by the work of Native American tribal high-rise ironworkers. In Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and elsewhere in Malaysia, workers from the mountain villages of Burma should rightly be credited for what they have helped to create.

Those Burma refugees in Malaysia who do eventually find themselves with a new life in a third country may arrive with skills especially prized in the construction industry, even though their training was very informal on the Malaysian jobs. Refugee aid groups in the resettlement countries should make special efforts to provide apprenticeship, skills certification and labor union assistance to those who have worked in construction in Malaysia.

The main thing that can be done now for the protection of refugees from Burma in Malaysia is to increase pressure on the Malaysian government to make Rela to stop its immigration raids. A sample letter to the Malaysian government regarding 2007's "Visit Malaysia Year" and Rela is included at the end of this report. Support for the Malaysian NGO SUARAM's call for Rela to be disbanded altogether would also be very appropriate.

Note: in July 2007, one Malaysian ringgit was worth approximately .30 US$.


Four Interviews Conducted with Burma Refugee Workers, Putrajaya, Malaysia, June 2007

Male Refugee 1:
Q: How old are you?
A: I'm 32 years old
Q: What ethnic group?
A: Matupi [Chin.]
Q: Are you married?
A: Yes, with 4 children
Q: When did you leave Burma?
A: In December 2006.
Q: Why did you leave Burma then?
A: I was taken as a forced porter too many, many times. The last time, I was taken for carrying as a porter I was sick, but I was not allowed to rest and I was forced to carry and on the way I fell down, and was unconscious, and was left there. I was sent by nearby villagers to Matupi hospital, where I stayed for one week. I only rested three days in my home after that, and they came to make me carry their goods. I was too weak and my family members worried about me. There is always a "whoo" sound ringing in my ear. So I left the house to run away from there.
Q: When did you come to Malaysia?
A: Also in December [2006.]
Q: How did you come here?
A: My relatives in Rangoon helped me to go to Kawthaung [southernmost tip of Burma.] From there an agent sent me to Malaysia.
Q: What kind of work did you do back in Matupi?
A: I left school in 7th Standard. After that, I didn't get work properly, because the army always called for mass work and portering. After I left school I went to farming, but I could not do it properly because of that.
Q: What kind of work have you done in Malaysia?
A: I cannot speak the Malay language and I have no work skills, so I cannot get a proper job in Malaysia. I want to work. After I arrived in Malaysia I got 200 ringgit for a few days work, installing air-conditioning. I just stay in this campsite during the daytime.
Q: Do you have any UNHCR card or Third Country?
A: Not yet. I will be arrested if I return to Burma, it is impossible to return there, so I hope to be able to go to a third country.
Q: Have you had any medical treatment while you've been in Malaysia?
A: Yes, when an NGO clinic came here. The doctor told me I need an ear operation. But I don't have any money for it.

 

Male Refugee 2:
Q: How old are you?
A: 22 years old.
Q: What ethnic group?
A: From Matupi [Chin.]
Q: Were you married?
A: Yes.
Q: Children?
A: No children.
Q: When did you leave Burma?
A: October 2006.
Q: Why did you leave Burma?
A: I didn't want to live under the military rule. The military government widened the road and took our house for it. They said they would replace the land but they never kept their word or refunded for our house. So we stayed at the squatters' place. After that, the army recruited for soldiers and I was afraid of that, so I left.
Q: When did you come to Malaysia?
A: In the same month [October 2006.]
Q: How did you come to Malaysia?
A: I fled to Rangoon from Pakkoku [in Chin State.] After I reached Rangoon, one of the Chin men helped me to come to Malaysia. I don't know if it was through Thailand or not. I passed through some place but I don't know where it was.
Q: What school did you have in Burma?
A: 9th Standard.
Q: What kind of work did you do in Burma?
A: I helped my father on the farm.
Q: In Malaysia, what kind of work did you do?
A: After I arrived in Malaysia, I worked for two months in a plantation where they grew vegetables. I was spraying the pesticides. That place was a health hazard. After that I came to this place [Putrajaya] and worked installing air-conditioning. The air-con job paid better, 700 ringgit for one month. It was at a big building construction site. They taught me what to do there, laboring, carrying things. The pay was after one month. Only wage, no food.
Q: Were there any problems when you were doing that work?
A: I was not arrested by Immigration or Rela -- every time they came, I managed to run away. Yesterday night, they also came here. Every person ran but one was captured by Rela. They just keep coming. So we decided we will all move to Kuala Lumpur.
Q: Why did you stop the air-con work after one month?
A: It was finished. I don't know what kind of work I would like to do. In our country there is no choice about this.
Q: Have you been to the UNHCR yet?
A: Not yet.

 

Male Refugee 3:
Q: How old are you?
A: 25.
Q: Ethnic group?
A: Matupi [Chin.]
Q: Are you married?
A: Not yet.
Q: When did you leave Burma?
A: 2006 December.
Q: Why did you leave?
A: I was recruited by the [government] army to be a soldier and sent to the army camp. But on the way to the army camp, our bus had an accident and I ran away, I escaped. Some others also did, but I don't know how many. I came to Malaysia on my own.
Q: When did you come to Malaysia?
A: End of December 2006.
Q: How did you come here?
A: I approached to the agent in Rangoon. My relatives paid. I don't know how much. They arranged it. I came by car.
Q: What standard education?
A: High school, 10th Standard.
Q: What work were you doing back home?
A: Farming.
Q: Since you came to Malaysia, what work have you done?
A: Working at the construction place as a painter. Inside and outside. On the big new buildings.
Q: What do they pay you for that.
A: 30 ringgit per day. They pay monthly. It's at one construction site. They give only salary, not food.
Q: Have you had any problem while doing that work?
A: When we are painting the exteriors, the heat problem. Sometimes we are very tired from the heat. The smell of paint can make us dizzy. We use a roller, not spray.
Q: Have you had any problem with Immigration or Rela?
A: Whenever we hear about them coming we run away. They seldom come to our working site, but when we are going there or coming back they try to arrest us on the way. Sometimes we have to miss work trying to avoid them.
Q: Are the other painters from Burma or other countries?
A: Only from Burma.
Q: Do you want to keep working as a painter?
A: In Malaysia we will work any work, because we need to survive.
Q: Have you been to the UNHCR or Third Country program?
A: Not yet.

 

Male Refugee 4:
Q: How old are you?
A: 21 years old.
Q: Ethnic group?
A: Matupi.
Q: Are you married?
A: No.
Q: When did you leave Burma?
A: 2004 May I went to Thailand, and spent two years in Thailand.  
Q: Why did you leave Burma?
A: In 2000, I was recruited by the [government] army as a soldier. I fled from the army in 2001. I hid out in the jungle for one year, from 2001 to 2002. After one year in hiding, I went back to my homeland. I started to study in school. But the soldiers knew I had fled from their recruitment, so every time they saw me, they kicked me, punched me, threatened to rearrest me and send me back to the army. So I could not bear it anymore.
Q: When did you come to Malaysia.
A: 2006 November. I lived in Thailand for two years. In those two years I saved a lot of money. But it was not enough to pay the agents to come to Malaysia. I still owe them a little.
Q: What work were you doing in Thailand?
A: Construction work.
Q: What standard school in Burma?
A: High school, not matric'.
Q: Why did you come to Malaysia instead of staying in Thailand?
A: If I was arrested in Thailand, I would be sent back to Burma -- I was afraid of that. I also heard about the UNHCR and that some people were resettled to other countries. I also wanted to try that.
Q: What work have you done in Malaysia?
A: In Malaysia I have worked only one month. After that, Rela raided around the area. So I've stayed here rather than go forth. In the month I worked setting the window glass in big new buildings.
Q: What did you get paid for that?
A: 30 ringgits per day. They paid after one month. I would borrow 100 ringgit a week.
Q: How many hours did you work each day?
A: Malaysia standard, start at 8:30 to 5:30, with two rest periods and lunch hour. Sometimes we could work overtime, but we are afraid to because of Immigration waiting on the way home.
Q: How long did you have to travel to the work site?
A: I used to bicycle 30 minutes to get there.
Q: Have you had any physical problems since you came to Malaysia?
A: I have this lump like a tumor on my thumb. And ear pain. Maybe malnutrition, I feel very weak sometimes.
Q: What kind of work would you do here if you could chose?
A: I just want to go to a third country, to get the UNHCR card.


Brief sample letter to Malaysian government

Send to:

Dato Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi
Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Security
Prime Minister's Office Malaysia
Perdana Putra Building
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia

Datuk Radzi Sheikh Ahmad
Minister of Home Affairs
Level 12, Block D1, Parcel D
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62546 PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia

"Dear ...........

Congratulations on Malaysia's 50th Year of Independence. I am writing to you because I am deeply concerned about the raids by the group called Rela against foreigners who are seeking refuge and doing useful work in Malaysia. While "Visit Malaysia Year" seems very attractive, as a foreigner I would not wish to visit while Rela is conducting these random and violent raids. I believe that what Rela is doing is harmful to human rights and the Malaysian economy, and so I urge you to completely stop Rela from conducting its anti-foreigner activities. I also urge you to see that all refugees and asylum seekers who have been arrested by Rela, particularly those from Burma (Myanmar), are released.

Sincerely,"


Sources and Links:

For stories of refugees from Burma in Malaysia, see the Fifty Refugees Project:
http://fiftyrefugees.wordpress.com/

To support SUARAM's campaign for disbanding Rela, see http://www.suaram.net

"Stop Rela Immediately" Migrant Forum in Asia, January 3, 2006
http://www.mfasia.org/mfaStatements/F50-StopRelaImmediately.html

"Malaysia's Mystery Migrant Deaths" BBC, February 16, 2006
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4720386.stm

"Incidents May Mar Malaysia's Tourism Bid" BBC, January 3, 2007
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6228125.stm

"Rela and Malaysia's Invisible War" Aliran Monthly, January 24, 2007
www.aliran.com/content/view/185/10

"Malaysia: Disband Abusive Volunteer Corps" Human Rights Watch, May 5, 2007
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/05/08/malays15885.htm

"Malaysia Acts Tough on Immigration" Al Jazeera May 24, 2007
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/4F6800F4-5752-4CD9-B958-07C5D015E1DE.htm

"Food Court Operator Sues Rela" The Star, May 29, 2007
http://thestaronline.com/news/story.asp?file=/2007/5/29/nation/17864777&sec=nation

"Give More Powers to Rela?" Lucia Lai (blogger), May 30, 2007
http://lucialai.org/category/silly/

"Ever Rela to Help" The Sunday Star, June 10, 2007
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/6/10/focus/17923818&sec=focus

"Visit Malaysia: Dream or Nightmare?" Malaysiakini, June 18, 2007
http://www.malaysiakini.com/opinionsfeatures/68731

"Urgent Appeal: 228 Burmese asylum seekers and refugees arrested by RELA" SUARAM, June 25, 2007
http://www.suaram.net

"Hundreds Arrested in Malaysia Immigration Raids" Chin Human Rights Organization, June 25, 2007
http://www.chro.org/index.php/campaign/hundreds_arrested_in

"Malaysia Cracks Down on Burmese Migrants" Khonumthung News, July 2, 2007
http://www.khonumthung.com/kng-news/07-news-archive/jul-07-news/malaysia-cracks-down-on-burmese-migrants/

"Urgent Action Appeal: Refugee Women and Children Detained in Continuing Raids in Malaysia" Chin Human Rights Organization, July 5, 2007
http://www.chro.org


This report is by Project Maje, which is responsible for its content. For research assistance Project Maje thanks the CRC, CHRO, KDO, and A and TH; for website, Bruce. For contact information for the Burma refugee NGOs in Malaysia, contact SUARAM: www.suaram.net or Project Maje.

Project Maje
www.projectmaje.org
maje@hevanet.com
503-226-2189
8824 SE 9th Ave
Portland OR 97213 USA
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July 2007