Malaysian fishermen to be released after two-year detention in Indonesia

SUNGAI BESAR: "I'm relieved that I will be able to see my cousin after almost two years. After this, I no longer need to inquire about his health over the phone," said Chia Jui Leng, 46.

Jui Leng's cousin Chia Kee Chan, 50, is one of the six Malaysian fishermen who will be released soon from detention in Indonesia for allegedly having trespassed into that country's waters.

Jui Leng said the last time he met Kee Chan was in April 2016 at the Labuhan Deli Prison in Medan, Indonesia.

"Kee Chan, who is currently serving his jail sentence, told me that he lost some of his boats when the Indonesian authorities arrested him in March 2015 and wanted them to be handed back to him," he told Bernama when met at a restaurant in Sekinchan here Saturday.

Jui Leng, who has been working as a fisherman in Sekinchan for almost 40 years, said the impending release of his cousin also brought great relief to Kee Chan's family who greatly depended on him.

He also thanked the Government, especially Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Sungai Besar MP Budiman Mohd Zohdi for the efforts that led to the release of his cousin.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, when announcing the matter Friday, said Najib and Indonesian President Joko Widodo agreed at the 12th Malaysia-Indonesia Annual Leaders' Consultation last November that the two countries would release fishermen held by them for having trespassed into each other's territories.

Jui Leng said he also hoped that his cousin would return home in time to celebrate Chinese New Year with his family in February. – Bernama


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