WASHINGTON DC – Malaysia is to give preference to professional and semi-skilled people in accepting the 3,000 Syrian refugees it has agreed to bring to Malaysia over the next three years.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Home Ministry was working out the procedure for these refugees to move to Malaysia.
â€œThis is Malaysia’s commitment to the international community,” he said, elaborating on the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the acceptance of the Syrian refugees when addressing the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Oct 1.
Referring to the Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the Syrian refugee crisis, Najib said the world community should not just sit back and watch what was going on.
It is estimated that more than four million Syrians have fled as refugees from the civil war in their country.
Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia was more committed now than during the war in the Balkan states when the country accepted 200 refugees from Bosnia Herzegovina.
He spoke to Malaysian journalists soon after he began a working visit Wednesday to the United States administrative centre.
â€œThe visit is at the invitation of the United States government,” said Ahmad Zahid, who is also the home minister.
He is scheduled to sign the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 (HSPD-6) with US Secretary of State John Kerry, the final procedure for Malaysia to be granted exemption of visa for Malaysians visiting the United States.
An announcement on the facility is expected to be made by US President Barack Obama during his visit to Malaysia scheduled for next month. – BERNAMA