Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fishing boat takes 202 Rohingya to Malaysia




Fishing boat takes 202 Rohingya to Malaysia

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Some 202 Rohingya were aboard a fishing boat intercepted by Malaysian authorities off Langkawi island. MALAYSIAN MARITIME ENFORCEMENT AGENCY/AFP

Fishing boat takes 202 Rohingya to Malaysia

Malaysia on Sunday detained 202 suspected Rohingya Muslims who arrived illegally by boat, a top official said, raising fears that people smugglers are back in action despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency deputy director Zulinda Ramly said a large fishing boat ferried the suspected Rohingya migrants to the northern resort island of Langkawi.

Malaysia is a favoured destination for the migrants from Myanmar as it is a Muslim majority nation with a sizeable Rohingya diaspora.

Some 740,000 Rohingya Muslims left Myanmar in August 2017 and arrived in Bangladesh to join another 300,000 already living in the refugee camps.

With few opportunities for jobs and education in Myanmar or refugee camps in Bangladesh, thousands have risked their lives travelling to Southeast Asian nations – mainly by boat – when the Bay of Bengal is calm before monsoon season sets in at the end of May.

Zulinda said the migrants were detained by maritime authorities for questioning and will be handed over to immigration officials.

“Authorities are investigating complaints by the migrants that three individuals – a boat captain and two crew members – were operatives of a human smuggling ring,” she said in a statement.

The three escaped to sea after bringing the boat into Malaysian waters.

An estimated 25,000 Rohingya left Bangladesh and Myanmar on boats in 2015 trying to get to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Hundreds drowned when overloaded boats sank.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there