[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Boat carrying migrants sinks off Malaysia

At least two Indonesian passengers are confirmed drowned, with around 17 missing and 61 others rescued.

Last updated: 15 Jul 2014 08:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
In June, an overloaded boat carrying Indonesian immigrants sank off Malaysia's west coast, killing 10 people [EPA]

A boat carrying about 80 Indonesians has sunk off the southern coast of Malaysia after colliding with a patrol boat out to arrest illegal workers, a Malaysian maritime official said.

A spokesman for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said two passengers were confirmed drowned, while around 17 remained missing.

At least 61 people have been rescued, local sources told Al Jazeera. 

Search and rescue operations were still ongoing in the waters off Tanjung Piai in the southern state of Johor, the spokesman said.

"We are working with the police, marine officials and public defence department to find the rest."

Local newspapers described the passengers as illegal Indonesian workers and said that the boat was en route to Indonesia.

Malaysian maritime authorities have been engaged in ongoing operations to intercept an expected increase in immigrant traffic as people go home for the Muslim holiday of Eid. 

Al Jazeera's Stephanie Scawen, reporting from Johor Baru, said that the sinking of the ship is the third latest incident in weeks.

In June, an overloaded boat carrying suspected Indonesian immigrants sank as it left Malaysia's west coast, killing at least 10 passengers.

Malaysia, one of Southeast Asia's wealthier economies, has long been a magnet for illegal immigrants from Indonesia and other poorer countries in the region.

Many undocumented Indonesians work in Malaysia's extensive oil palm plantations, a mainstay of its economy.

229

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.