Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the exercise was required as the UNHCR had not cooperated with the ministry on the number of UNHCR refugees in Malaysia.
He said he could not understand why the UNHCR refused to give the exact number of refugees from its data base.
“We will do the exercise with or without the involvement of the UNHCR and we will issue identification cards by the Home Ministry,” Nur Jazlan told reporters after attending the renaming of SMK Kempas here after his father the late Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat.
Nur Jazlan said there was no exact number of UNHCR refugees in the country, adding that reports put the number from 150,000 to 160,000.
“We want to know why the number is high because the figure does not match the number of refugees landing at our shores,” he said.
Nur Jazlan said while the ministry respected the prerogative of the UNHCR in issuing the cards to the refugees, the ministry wanted to ensure that they were genuine card holders.
“We don’t want the situation to go out of control as Malaysians have expressed their concerns over the high number of refugees in the country which could pose security threats,” he said.