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Malaysia offers Indonesian illegals safe return

Published on Jul 26, 2014 6:40 PM
 
A file picture taken on June 19, 2014 shows Malaysian search and rescue teams carrying out a search operation near the area where a boat carrying Indonesian illegal migrants sank overnight in seas near Banting. Malaysia is offering illegal Indonesians to return home without being prosecuted to avoid them sneaking out in rickety boats after several fatal accidents ahead of Eid al-Fitr, officials said on July 26, 2014. -- PHOTO:AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia is offering illegal Indonesians safe return home without being prosecuted to avoid them making secret journeys in rickety boats after several fatal accidents ahead of the Eid al-Fitr festival, officials said on Saturday.

At least four boats have sunk since last month as Indonesians, drawn to the relatively affluent Southeast Asian country for work, sought to go home for Eid al-Fitr, Islam's biggest festival, which starts in Malaysia on Monday.

The sinkings killed dozens and have left scores more missing.

Those wanting to return will be fined for being in Malaysia illegally, but will escape harsher prosecution, such as jail terms and caning, said a home ministry official who declined to be named as he is not authorised to make public statements.

 
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