Malaysian authorities Saturday searched for at least 32 Indonesian workers whose boat sank while bringing them home for the end of the Muslim fasting month.
The coast guard, police and fishermen rescued eight survivors since the boat capsized in rough waves off Malaysia’s southern Johor state around midnight Friday, a Johor district police official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make public statements.
The suspected undocumented workers were on an hours-long journey to Indonesia’s Batam island ahead of celebrations next week marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Many Indonesians working illegally in Malaysia travel on boats believed to be old and unsafe to return to their hometowns.
It was the second recent maritime accident involving Indonesians in Johor state’s waters. At least one woman drowned and 27 were rescued when another boat sank July 18.
Keywords: Malaysia boat capsize