BAGAN DATUK, Malaysia — Malaysia will not arbitrarily issue the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) card to the Rohingyas who have sought refuge in the country, said Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said this was to avoid Malaysia and its people from being overburdened with a flood of Rohingyas fleeing the ethnic clashes in Myanmar.

The decision to deny arbitrary granting of the refugee card to the Rohingyas had the cooperation of the UNHCR itself, he said to reporters after handing over sacrificial cows for Aidiladha in his parliamentary constituency of Bagan Datuk, here, today.

“Our priority is our people and their welfare. It is not that we are not being humanitarian. I think the international community should show concern for the plight of the Rohingyas,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid also asked Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to restore the image of her country tarnished by the clashes in Rakhine, a state in Myanmar.

He said the international community had repeatedly asked Yangon to resolve the humanitarian issue, but it had not been done up to now.

“I hope serious attention will be given to this matter. There should be no double standard because of religious differences. Do not make this humanitarian issue a religious and political issue,” he said.

He also said that the matter should be settled because Malaysia did not wish to be the receiving country, which had to face an influx of Rohingyas whenever they had problems in Myanmar.