Yes - Najib did not even use the word 'refugees' and 'asylum seekers' in his speech - he merely called them 'Syrian migrants'. As such, all refugees in Malaysia are 'illegal' migrants..
Malaysia really needs a law the recognizes refugees and asylum seekers - which will also state how they will be treated by the government, their rights, etc..ENACT A LAW ON REFUGEES/ASYLUM SEEKERS
Malaysia is also still not a signatory or party to 1951 UN Refugee Convention...and there are currently about 153,880 refugees and asylum seekers registered in Malaysia (probably more given the fact that time for processing is long...)
As of end August 2015, there are some 153,880 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in Malaysia.
- 143,050 are from Myanmar, comprising some 48,310 Chins, 48,800 Rohingyas, 12,290 Myanmar Muslims, 7,180 Rakhines & Arakanese, and other ethnicities from Myanmar.
- There are some 10,830 refugees and asylum-seekers from other countries, including some 3,610 Sri Lankans, 1,230 Pakistanis, 1,100 Somalis, 970 Syrians, 860 Iraqis, 490 Iranians, 490 Palestinians, and others from other countries.
Some 57% of refugees and asylum-seekers are men, while 43% are women.
There are some 33,710 children below the age of 18. - UNHCR Malaysia Website
Malaysia has so many refugees here in Malaysia - refugees from Myanmar/Burma(including the Rohingyas), Sri Lanka....
There are also 'economic refugees' - people coming over from neighbouring ASEAN and Asian nations in search of employment and income... which we call ' undocumented migrants'
There are at present at least 2.5 million (possibly even more than 5 million) undocument migrants in Malaysia...
So, why does Najib go and proclaim at the UN that Malaysia would open its doors to a further 3,000 Syrian 'refugees' - when here in Malaysia already so many - 153,880. These persons are considered 'undocumented migrants' - not being able to work and earn a living legally in Malaysia. Of course, UNHCR also does not provide board or lodging for them whilst they await re-settlement in a 3rd country.
And, of course, there will be the question 'Why Syria?' - Why not Palestine? What not a general offer to accept refugees - priority maybe from ASEAN?
What really is the Malaysian position on Syria? Is Malaysia in support of the government of President Bashar al-Assad? Or is Malaysia supporting the US-UK position? Or the Russian position? ...it requires a longer discussion to understand what is happening in Syria, especially since 2011.
'This is why Malaysia has taken, over the years, many people fleeing war, starvation and persecution. We currently have hundreds of thousands of irregular migrants, and we took in more earlier this year when there was a dire humanitarian situation in the Andaman Sea.I am pleased to announce today that, to help alleviate the current refugee crisis, Malaysia will do its share, and open our doors to a further 3,000 Syrian migrants over the next three years.New international solutions are needed to deal with the migration crises. The millions fleeing are people – like us. They should concern us all. We must respect our common humanity. - Najib Tun Razak
Updated: Friday October 2, 2015 MYT 8:09:28 AM