66 missing after boat sinks off Malaysia

2014-06-18 08:10
AP

AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kuala Lumpur - Sixty-six people were missing on Wednesday after an apparently-overloaded boat carrying Indonesian illegal migrants sank in rough waters off Malaysia's west coast, authorities said.

"A wooden boat with 97 Indonesians has sank off Port Klang near Banting," Mohamad Zuhri, spokesperson for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), told AFP, adding that 31 had been rescued after the overnight disaster.

"The Indonesians were trying to enter Malaysia illegally by crossing the Malacca Straits," he said, referring to the busy shipping lane between Malaysia and Indonesia's Sumatra island.

The boat sank not far from shore, offering hope that more survivors might have made it to land, said Mohamad Hambali Yaakup, head of the MMEA office at Port Klang, Malaysia's main port.

"It sank close to land. We believe the boat was overcrowded and the sea was rough during the incident."

Authorities said five vessels and a helicopter were searching for survivors.

Relatively affluent Malaysia, Southeast Asia's third-largest economy, is a magnet for migrant workers from poorer neighbours such as Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.

Around two million illegal immigrants are estimating to be working in the country of 28 million people.

Accidents are frequent as thousands annually risk the sea journey in rickety boats to seek low-paying work - typically shunned by Malaysians - on plantations, construction sites and in factories.

Indonesians - by far the most numerous among the arriving illegal migrants - often add to the risk by choosing to cross the Malacca Strait under the cover of darkness to avoid detection.

Read more on:    malaysia

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Innovation and initiation are highlighted today, but you may find yourself needing to change direction and redirect your energies...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.