80 Vietnamese boat refugees left Malaysia on Sunday (14 May) to begin a new life in Australia.
CU + SV Vietnamese refugees at Kuala Lumpur airport for flight and boarding flight for Australia (5 SHOTS)
SV Refugees in camp bunks (2 SHOTS)
SV Refugee run foodstall in camp (3 SHOTS)
SV Views of laundry and camp building
SV Refugees in bunks (8 SHOTS)
SV EXT Views of refugees in camp (2 SHOTS)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: 80 Vietnamese boat refugees left Malaysia on Sunday (14 May) to begin a new life in Australia.
SYNOPSIS: They are the first of a batch of nearly a thousand Indochinese refugees who have been vetted by Australian immigration officials for entry into Australia this year.
Most of the nearly four thousand refugees still living in Malaysian camps, have applied for permanent resettlement either in Australia or the United States. (SEQ 1)
While waiting for their fates to be decided, most refugees at this camp near Kuala Lumpur, have little to do and often confine themselves to their bunks as a relief from the mid-day heat outside. (SEQ 2)
But other, who may have left behind a career in small business, seem to make better use of their time plying their skills. Within the enclosed refugee community, which appears to be financially well off but without any possessions, make shift markets and well provided foodstalls do a roaring trade. (SEQ 3)
The United States and Australia have already taken in nearly two hundred thousand of the refugees scattered throughout Southeast Asia. But despite the trickle, outwards, more people are coming into the camps than leaving.
Malaysia and the other non-communist government of the region are apprehensive that a new flood of Indochinese refugees would place even greater strains on their ability to cope with them, and have urged Australia and the United States to speed up their processing. An official of the US Refugees and Migration Office said that problem is that the paperwork takes such a long time.
Last April alone, four thousand people fled Vietnam and Cambodia, making it the highest monthly total since the end of the war in 1975. The ending of the winter monsoon and a new crackdown by the Vietnamese government on private businesses is seen by Western Diplomats as the prime cause for the upsurge.
Since the end of the Indochina War 10,000 refugees have drifted onto the Malaysian coast. About half this number have already been settled in the United States, Australia, Canada, and France. (SEQ 4-6)