Malaysia to open doors to 3,000 Syrian migrants

PHOTO: AFP

AS a Muslim nation that will "not turn its face away", Malaysia will open its doors to 3,000 Syrian migrants over the next three years to help with its refugee crisis, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said Muslim countries were partly responsible for the marginalised Syrians fleeing their country, causing social and economic stresses in Europe.

About four million Syrian refugees are estimated to have fled into neighbouring countries over the last four years and are struggling with hardship and poverty.

Malaysia is one of the few Muslim countries taking the lead to aid Syrian refugees besides providing shelter for refugees from elsewhere.

"This is why Malaysia has taken, over the years, many people fleeing war, starvation and persecution," he said at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday.

Najib said new international solutions were needed to deal with the plight of the Syrians.

"For it is only when we transcend the silos of race and faith, only when we look at images of desperate migrants ... and it is only when we see that dreadful picture of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed ashore that we will act as our better selves," he added.

On MH17, the Prime Minister expressed Malaysia's disappointment over the United Nation's failure to adopt the resolution to set up an international tribunal to look into the downing of the aircraft.

On July 29, Russia used its veto right to block a five-nation proposal initiated by Malaysia to establish an ad hoc criminal international tribunal to try those responsible for the downing of MH17 last year.

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