Only 40 Rohingya who are UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) cardholders have registered under a pilot project which allows the Rohingya ethnic community to work in Malaysia.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim said this showed their lack of interest in the scheme as the target was 300 Rohingya.
"It means they are already in the job market but only 40 came to us. The number has not reached the target of 300. For (YB's) information, currently there are over 60,000 UNHCR cardholders."
Shahidan said this in reply to a supplementary question from Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling) on the government's assistance for ethnic Rohingya refugees in the country.
The pilot scheme which commenced on March 1, enables Rohingya refugees who pass the security and health screenings to work in the country and this is done in stages.
Shahidan said they would be placed at selected companies in the plantation and manufacturing sectors, aimed at giving them skills and income source to build their lives before they are sent to a third country or repatriated.
Earlier, he said Malaysia has to date, not been a member of the UN Convention on Refugees 1951 and 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, as it would not be able to fully exercise the rights and responsibilities of the convention and protocol, as a member state.
He said as signatory to the convention and protocol, a member state had to give refugees the same rights enjoyed by its citizens, such as access to employment, government hospital facilities and free health clinic care, education and so on.
"Among the Asean countries, only the Philippines and Cambodia are members of this convention and protocol," he added to a question from Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli (PAS-Dungun) on the government's stand on ethnic Rohingya refugees.