The ‘hungry’ and ‘dangerous’ refugees laying bare our hypocrisy

The disdain shown to refugees by Hamzah and his ilk is revolting, especially when one is reminded about the origins of Islam.

Abdar Rahman Koya, MalaysiaNews

The general ignorance about refugees comes as no surprise, given the rantings of the home minister and the distribution of resources meant for fighting crime.

The Kedah police recently made a very unusual public service announcement. They warned the public that the Rohingya refugees who escaped from a detention camp were hungry and dangerous, as if they were predatory animals waiting to devour helpless Malaysians for their blue identity cards.

It is sad but not surprising that such a statement was left unchallenged and taken seriously, even prompting some locals to take it upon themselves to hunt down these “dangerous” men, women and children, many of whom were barefoot, dazed and weak.

The statement by the police was greeted with an air of ignorance by Malaysians on social media. They egged on the authorities to catch the “intruders”, with at least some of these comments probably made as they prepared to devour a buka puasa spread with their family members in the safety of their homes.

The general ignorance about refugees comes as no surprise. We have a home minister who rants about this group, and authorities including the immigration and police whose resources spent mounting operations against these hapless creatures have given a whole new meaning to ensuring border security and fighting crime.

Yet a voice of reason came from the Kedah menteri besar – far from the most liberal politician Malaysians have known in recent times.

Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor challenged the narrative that the refugees were dangerous and a threat to the public.

“They just want to survive. Criminals such as drug dealers are the real threat,” he reportedly said.

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