On Friday (11 June), the Immigration Department of Malaysia uploaded a poster depicting our armed forces on guard against any intruders and it was given a title “Rohingya migrants are not welcomed” on social media.
The anti-Rohingya poster was designed to resemble a film poster, featuring our defence assets deployed and ready for engagement, with a number of boats filled with refugees.
The poster immediately went viral and at the same time, sparked a huge outrage from netizens. After receiving such backlashes from netizens, the Immigration Department had since the took the poster down.
Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM), an non-governmental (NGO) that promotes human rights had stood up to condemn the Immigration Department for releasing such a “despicable” poster along with their act of “hypocrisy” with the contradicting views towards Palestinians and Rohingya, despite both facing similarly damaging persecutions back home.
“It is despicable to say to a community of people who have undergone ethnic cleansing, who have endured unimaginable brutality for generations that they are not only unwanted in our country, but that we will use brute force against them,” AIM said in a statement.
AIM also says that Rohingya refugees, other migrants and asylum seekers also have to endure the increasing xenophobia and racism in the past year. This had a serious impact on their mental health, which causes a rise in suicides among them.
“People will come because they want to survive. We can choose to spend so much money and resources on acts of violence and hatred, or we can create a response of care and protection,”
“The Malaysian government must explain why, especially in the time of a global pandemic, they have chosen to attack people in need. Refugees and migrants deserve to have their humanity upheld; Malaysians deserve a government that respects the rights and dignity of all.” they added.