A fisherman told his tale of breaking into tears after seeing the boat overcrowded with starving and exhausted Rohingya near the coast of Indonesia. Opening the eyes of many on Asia's human-trafficking crisis, the boat had been a symbol that there is indeed a human trafficking problem.
Fisherman Muchtar Ali shared that he was at a lost of words when he saw the boat full of more than 400 Muslim migrants trying to escape the persecution in native Myanmar. He said that all of those in the boat looked starving and skinny. Ali came from an Islamic province and he felt a strong compassion to help his fellow Muslims. He also opined that not helping them will be a sin.
Among the migrants are around 140 children and women, exhausted by the journey. There had been news that they were forced to get out of the Thai waters and then in Malaysian waters at gunpoint according to Chris Lewa.
Malaysians pushed away the migrants twice, and even resorted to guns the second time migrants tried to ashore. Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia had sparked global outrage when they turned away the boats, but Indonesia and Malaysia shared on Wednesday that they are willing to take in the migrants if they could resettle in a year.
Malnourished migrants shared stories of how they had been abused by smugglers and seen fights between rival groups.
The Muslim migrants in the green boat joined the 1,300 Rohingya and Bangladeshis who had arrived in Indonesia's Aceh province.
Thai navy said that they took the vessel out to the international waters insisting that the migrants wanted to travel to Malaysia. The boat lost communication, making many feared of the migrant’s safety. On Tuesday, the boat was seen near Indonesia.
Fishermen helped to bring the migrants to land and they were surprised on how many migrants were inside looking very thin and hungry.