Refugees are human too

Commentary by Mustafa K Anuar 

THE All-Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia (APPGM) on Refugee Policy led by Syerleena Abdul Rashid started off on the right foot when its chairperson raised the need to move away from prescribing policies that criminalise refugees. 
The Bukit Bendera MP rightly pointed out that policies should instead be crafted to protect them. This is a positive development.  
It is commendable that under its proposed comprehensive policy reforms, the APPGM has put as priority the protection of refugees. 
In addition, the group gives access to such basic services as healthcare and education, as well as grants them the right to work and contribute to the national economy. 
Such measures are vital for refugees’ collective well-being as well as their economic survival. Their children deserve education for the sake of their future.  
Making it legal for them to work would help address the problem of refugees being exploited by their local bosses, particularly in the food industry.