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An opening given to the Rohingya

KUALA LUMPUR (AsiaNews): The Malaysian government has become one of the first to introduce a skills training programme for the Rohingya people who have fled persecution in the Union of Myanmar and failed to find a welcome in Bangladesh or Thailand.

The programme is aimed at turning out semi-skilled workers that can be absorbed into the country’s labour market. It will also normalise their status in the country in order to give them the protection of labour legislation.

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Malaysia tiptoeing to totalitarianism

KUALA LUMPUR (UCAN): Protests, arbitrary arrests and dire warnings of foreign interference is the new norm in Malaysia and is part of the alarming direction the country is taking under the leadership of scandal-plagued prime minister, Najib Razak.

“Worse things are going to happen,” Jeffrey Kitingan, a politician from Sabah state in Malaysian Borneo and a former political prisoner, says in describing how his country is tiptoeing into totalitarianism.

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In Malaysia but belonging nowhere

MANILA (UCAN): Amira’s face lit up with a smile when the word school was mentioned. “Do you want to take them? Do you know where I can send them?” she asked before adding, “no one wants them.”

Her two children, five-year-old Nasir and three-year-old Noori, were sitting with her on top of an orange plastic container by the waterfront in Kota Kinabalu in Sabah state, Malaysia.

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Self-identity conundrum mixed with anger

KUALA LUMPUR (UCAN): There’s something going on in Malaysia and it does not bode well.

Public discord and racial tensions overflowed on November 19 as over 15,000 people wearing the yellow of the Berish (Malay) 2.0 (Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections) spilled into the streets demanding that the prime minister, Najib Razak, resign over a huge misappropriation scandal involving tax payers’ money.

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Islamic State worries Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR (UCAN): Malaysia’s battle against the spread of the influence of Islamic State ideology has revealed that despite a high-profile crackdown, new recruits are plentiful.

On the weekend of May 21 and 22, police detained 14 more individuals believed to be linked to the group that calls itself the Islamic State. 

The new arrests came after 15 people, who police say planned to launch attacks in Malaysia, were arrested in March.

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First ambassador to Holy See from Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR (UCAN): Bernard Dompok, the former minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities in Malaysia, has been appointed as the country’s first ambassador to the Holy See, it was announced on March 22.

He was also the chief minister of the state of Sabah from 1998 to 1999.

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