Thursday, May 21, Malaysia announced the mobilization of the Navy and Coast Guard to locate and rescue the trapped migrants aboard on ships in distress in the Andaman Sea .
“We have to save lives ,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on his Facebook account. Vessels carrying Bangladeshis who want to escape poverty and members of the Rohingya ethnic group, persecuted and marginalized Muslim community , living mainly in Burma , a largely Buddhist country.
Thailand , Indonesia and Malaysia have received a total of some 3,000 survivors in days. And from Kuala Lumpur , about 7,000 people still derive at sea.
The three countries , however, had repressed several boatloads of migrants , including women and children, entered their territorial waters in a ” ping pong game ” condemned by the UN and humanitarian organizations. Malaysia and Indonesia have flip-flopped Wednesday , announcing that they were ending the controversial practice and proposed to temporarily accommodate the thousands of migrants currently at sea.