Fact Sheet Malaysia - 2018
Malaysia has not ratified the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the status of Refugees nor its 1967 Protocol, and lacks an effective domestic legislative and administrative framework to protect refugees within its territory. The available protection space for asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless people in Malaysia is fragile and unpredictable, further compounded by the introduction of increasingly restrictive policies that continue to narrow access to asylum. The restrictive legal and policy framework has created a situation of extreme difficulty for asylum seekers, refugees and stateless people. Although the Malaysian Government does grant recognised refugees who hold UNHCR-issued documents some freedom of movement in Malaysia, but cardholders are often subject to random document checks and arbitrary arrest and detention. Lacking legal status in Malaysia, refugees and asylum seekers are also prevented from access to the labour market and basic services, including affordable healthcare and education. In Malaysia there are no refugee camps. Refugees live in towns and cities across the country in low-cost housing amongst Malaysian citizens, often in small over-crowded flats. It is not uncommon for several families, or dozens of individuals to share the same living space for cost-saving and security reasons.