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Malaysian fishermen stumble on 126 famished Rohingya refugees at sea March 11,2013   |  Source: MySinchew

One hundred and twenty-six Rohingya refugees were found famished by local fishermen from Malaysia, as their cargo boat was on the verge of sinking at 2.5 nautical miles from Muka Head, Teluk Bahang, George Town yesterday.

The refugees, comprising 51 men, 35 women and 40 children, had spent 25 days sailing from Myanmar to Malaysia.

Following a report lodged by the fishermen about 2pm, the Rohingyas were rescued by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

MMEA (Northern Region) enforcement chief First Admiral Tan Kok Kwee said, at the time of rescue, the refugees, aged between two months and 50, were found cramped in their boat.

"The Rohingyas looked tired and famished because food supply had run out, three days earlier, and they had to make do with just sea water.

"The MMEA found a leak in the boat and mobilised a maritime ship, KM Nyireh, to rescue the refugees and tow their boat. Investigations are underway to determine who had brought them in," he told reporters here today.

He said the Rohingyas were taken to the Limbungan Batu Maung Jetty about 10.30am and given food, as well as health check-ups.

The refugees are now held at the Penang MMEA headquarters in Jalan Sri Bahari, pending a remand order.


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