Don't miss out! We'll send a list to your inbox, once a day. Subscribe now!
Immigration Dept Deletes Poster Telling Rohingya Migrants Not Welcomed Here After Backlash
The anti-Rohingya poster, which promoted xenophobic sentiments and featured gun-toting enforcement officers from multiple government agencies, was shared across the Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia's social media accounts.
By Sadho Ram — 12 Jun 2021 — Updated about 2 months ago
Reaction to the anti-Rohingya poster was immediate
On Twitter, the Malaysian arm of a cross-border youth movement called Milk Tea Alliance highlighted the wrong and factually incorrect definition used for the Rohingyas who are refugees and not migrants.
The Milk Tea Alliance Malaysia also shared how the poster comes across as a government threat against refugees and promotes hatred against Rohingya people who are already living fragile lives in Malaysia.
Soon, the department removed the poster from across its accounts.
However, not before Amnesty International Malaysia slammed the Immigration Department in a hard-hitting statement last night.
The Malaysian arm of the international non-governmental organisation (NGO) chastised the poster and its accompanying messages, calling it "despicable" and an act of "hypocrisy" with opposing 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," Amnesty International Malaysia wrote in the statement.
The NGO, while noting the rise in suicides among migrants and asylum seekers, warned that "strategic communications" and policies like the ones endorsed in the poster "foster a climate of hatred, violence, and xenophobia" and how they harm lives, justify discrimination, and punish people "for trying to survive".
"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," it said.
"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."
For more, read Amnesty International Malaysia's explainer of why Rohingya people are taking the dangerous journey to leave Myanmar: