More than 3,000 Muslim refugees arrived in Malaysia in the first half of this year, a sharp rise of nearly 25 per cent over the same period in 2017, data from the Malaysian government shows.
The data, compiled by the Malaysian National Immigration Agency (MNIFA), also showed that in the year to June 30, there were 3,084 Muslim refugees resettled in Malaysia, which was up by 8.5 per cent from the same month last year.
In addition, the number of Muslim refugees living in Malaysia has grown by 2.2 per cent in the same timeframe.
In total, the government has allocated more than 2,200,000 Malaysian dollars ($2,837,000) to provide for the influx of Muslim asylum seekers in the country, the data shows.
According to the data, 1,818,000 Malaysians have been resettling in Malaysia for the first six months of this fiscal year, with more than 90 per cent of those being Muslims.
“The increase is the result of the strong political will of the government to take steps to help the refugee community,” MNIFA head of refugee operations, Abdul Hamid Khan, said.
The government is also working to facilitate and assist Muslim families to become citizens.
It has launched a “citizenship registry” to help facilitate the process, which will allow the newly registered Muslim family to obtain their first Malaysian passport.
Khan added that the government was working to reduce the number and scope of Muslim immigration to Malaysia.
The UNHCR estimates there are at least 7 million Muslims in Malaysia.
The largest number of Muslims in the world live in Malaysia and are considered vulnerable and at risk due to the ongoing conflict in Syria.