The Straits Times
Published on Dec 18, 2012

Malaysia takes in stranded boat people


THE 40 boat people picked up by a Vietnamese vessel that was denied entry into Singapore have been taken in by Malaysia.

The captain of the Nosco Victory told The Straits Times that Malaysia's maritime agency had sent a boat to the vessel on Tuesday to pick up the 40 people.

They were rescued in the Bay of Bengal by the crew of the Nosco Victory two weeks ago, while the ship was sailing from Bangladesh to Singapore. They are believed to be Rohingya refugees escaping violence in Myanmar's western Rakhine state. The stateless Muslim minority are considered illegal immigrants in both Myanmar and neighbouring Bangladesh.

Captain Nguyen Dinh Hoa and his crew had plucked them out of the sea and have been providing food and medical aid to them.