Headed to safe shores: Thousands of boat migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh will be allowed to come ashore in Malaysia and Indonesia amid international pressure for a solution to South-East Asia’s migrant crisis. — EPA
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants the navy and maritime bodies to search and rescue migrants stranded at sea.
Najib tweeted yesterday that the search and rescue operations should start as soon as possible.
“I have further ordered the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency to conduct search and rescue for Rohingya boats.
“We have to prevent loss of life,” he tweeted yesterday.
In a response, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein tweeted: “Our Navy is on it sir.”
This comes after Malaysia and Indonesia unanimously agreed to continue humanitarian aid for the 7,000 migrants who are still in the middle of the sea.
On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta had agreed to provide temporary shelter for one year.
The agreement was achieved during a joint meeting with Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand which discussed the irregular movement of people.
Najib had earlier instructed the navy and the maritime agency to assist Mercy Malaysia to deliver humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya migrants either by sea or land.
It was reported that 1,158 Bangladeshis and Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, including women and children, landed illegally by boat in Langkawi, on May 10, with the figures reported to be the largest ever to date.
Media reports claimed that there were more than 8,000 Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshis still at sea in their attempts to enter Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand illegally.