Minister skirts question on eviction of refugees

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun.

KUALA LUMPUR: Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun today skirted a question at the Dewan Rakyat about refugees being turned out by landlords.

Responding to a question about the eviction of refugees by local landlords after an immigration crackdown against illegals and whether the ministry had met with UNHCR, she said several ministries were examining refugee issues.

“It will be looked into from time to time. Most importantly, we will ensure the safety of children,” Rina said.

Rina also said her ministry had been working with the home ministry since the movement control order began as its views along with those of the foreign ministry were needed to handle the refugee issue.

But former women, family and community development minister Hannah Yeoh (PH-Segambut) was unhappy with Rina’s reply and stood up to say her question had not been answered.

Yeoh, during question time, asked if the government had met with UNHCR after reports were published of documented refugees being evicted by landlords.

Yeoh wanted to know the measures taken to resolve the situation as the evictions would make more people homeless.

Yeoh also told the Dewan Rakyat that the matter had reached a critical level as some local councils had apparently told landlords not to rent their premises to refugees.

“There are viral pictures of refugee children and families who were asked to vacate their homes,” she said.

However, due to time constraints, deputy speaker Rashid Hanson intercepted, saying the minister’s answer should be accepted at face value.

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