الأحد 08 جمادى الأولى 1438 - 11:28 بتوقيت مكة المكرمة الموافق 5-2-2017
Kuala Lumpur (IINA) – Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysia will allow Rohingya refugees to work legally in the country. The landmark move will start off as a pilot project on March 1. 
In a press statement after chairing a meeting to discuss UNHCR-related issues in Putrajaya on Thursday, Ahmad Zahid said this pilot project allows about 300 Rohingya, who are holders of UNHCR cards and have undergone health and security screening. The successful applicants will be placed with selected companies in the plantation and manufacturing industries.
"They will be able to gain skills and income to make a living before being relocated to a third country," he added according to Malaysian National News Agency BERNAMA.
Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, said the new project will address the issue of human trafficking and prevent exploitation of Rohingya as forced labor and illegal workers in the country.
There were about 150,000 UNHCR cardholders from 62 countries in Malaysia as of 31 December 2016. Tenaganita, a Malaysian human rights organization, said almost 90 percent are from Myanmar, with 56,000 being Rohingya.
AB/IINA
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