KUALA LUMPUR: About 150,000 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cardholders in Malaysia have until Sept 30 to apply for the special MyRC identity card issued by the home ministry after registering under the Tracking Refugees Information System (TRIS).
As such, Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said refugees currently in the country were encouraged to input their biometric data under the new TRIS to ensure the government had updated and extensive data on them.
To date, only 321 UNHCR refugees have registered to get the MyRC, comprising Myanmar nationals (98%), Pakistanis (1.25%) and Sri Lankans (0.31%), he said.
Nur Jazlan said the MyRC initiative was implemented under the “Proof of Concept (POC)” programme on April 1.
He said the POC programme would enable the government to obtain information and the biometric data of refugees and asylum seekers, currently in the UNHCR database.
At the end of the registration process, all refugees would be issued a MyRC card with 21 security features that become the identity of the cardholder.
The card will contain their personal information and biometric data, stored in a database for monitoring purposes. It will also enable the police and Immigration Department to easily identify UNHCR cardholders.
“We want to ensure these refugees are protected. When they have a card with their biometric data, the government will have their records. Local authorities will respect this card, and refugees won’t be subjected to abuse by those who want to take advantage of their refugee status,” he said.
“They don’t have to worry, their status as refugees will continue to be maintained and respected by the government despite being registered under the system,” he told reporters after visiting the TRIS Centre in Bangsar today.
The TRIS Centre in Tower 5 Avenue 5 in Bangsar is open daily from 8am to 4pm, except on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.