Khabar Southeast Asia

Hopes fade for three dozen missing off Malaysian coast

August 06, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- A fourth body was recovered Monday (August 5th), after a boat carrying dozens of asylum seekers from Indonesia sank Thursday in rough seas. The group had been on their way home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, AFP reported.

The wooden boat was believed to be smuggling 44 people -- including women and children -- from Malaysia's southern state of Johor to Indonesia's Batam Island. Four men were rescued Friday.

One said he paid about 1,300 ringgit ($400) for what was to be his first trip home in 13 years.

Though three dozen are feared missing, authorities seem close to calling off further recovery efforts. "Chances of finding any survivors now are very slim," said Asharudin Che Ami, an official with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

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