We are all the same. No matter our religion or race or nationality.'

I work as a Humanitarian with an international NGO based in Kuala Lumpur. In my work everyday, our office opens its doors to thousands of applicants, hopeful to seek for asylum in Malaysia. In all my interviews with the applicants, I hear so many stories of family members being killed, raped or cheated off their life savings in a country where they were born in, in the country they were supposed to call their homeland. These people are asylum seekers and with a genuinely well-founded fear of persecution, they will then be refugees who are seeking refuge in Malaysia. The refugees that you know all come with a story, even in cases of economic migrants, they all came here because their circumstances gave them no choice. When they come to our country, they face a new set of challenges such as discrimination at the work place, being coerced into marrying for shelter or being harassed by locals or being feared for being "extremists". It is our duty as Malaysians, as human beings, to give these people the same respect as any other person that we see. We are all the same. No matter our religion or race or nationality. Everyone is someone's daughter, son, mother, father, sister, brother. Let us be a country that can provide them a temporary refuge before they move on to find another safe haven to call it their home.
Alice Foo