PETALING JAYA: There are a total of 182,990 refugees and asylum seekers from 59 countries residing in Malaysia.
Of this number, about 74% or 135,440 are refugees while the rest are asylum seekers, the Dewan Negara was told today.
“Refugees and asylum seekers from Myanmar make up the largest group (comprising 158,165 or 86.43%),” said Sabah and Sarawak affairs and special functions minister Armizan Ali in a written reply.
He said United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) statistics indicated that the Rohingyas account for 58% of all refugees and asylum seekers in the country.
Malaysia is a key destination for Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.
The rest are from Pakistan (6,876), Afghanistan (3,391), Yemen (3,346), Somalia (3,033), Syria (2,809), Sri Lanka (1,507), Iraq (750), Palestine (639), Iran (393), Sudan (278), and other countries (1,803).
Between 2019 and 2022, Armizan said, a total of 7,557 refugees had been resettled in other countries like the US, Australia and New Zealand.