Malaysia has received the first batch of Syrian migrants out of a total of 3,000 it plans to allow into the country.
Malaysia will open its doors to 3,000 Syrian migrants over the next three years to help alleviate the refugee crisis, said Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Najib said Muslim countries were partly responsible for ensuring the well-being of the marginalised Syrians fleeing their country in massive numbers, causing social and economic stress in Europe.
“This is why Malaysia has taken, over the years, many people fleeing war, starvation and persecution. We currently have hundreds of thousands of irregular migrants, and we took in more earlier this year when there was a dire humanitarian situation in the Andaman Sea,” he said at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly here Thursday.
Najib said new international solutions were needed to deal with the migration crisis.
He said that “we must respect our common humanity” and the fleeing of millions of Syrians from their own country should be a world concern.
The eight people who arrived have relatives working in Malaysia who appealed to authorities for help, reports said.
Malaysia and the Philippines said earlier this year they would accept Syrian migrants.
Europe faces a crisis in which hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Syria and other countries are seeking asylum.
Prime Minister Najib Razak has said Malaysia, a majority Muslim country, would accept 3,000 migrants from Syria over the next three years to help ease the strain.
Authorities have said that temporary visiting passes will be issued to the Syrians who have arrived.
They are family members of Mohamed Ibrahim and Ali Abdul Nasser, two Syrians who have been working as hairstylists in Malaysia since 2012, according to The Malaysian Insider.