More than a dozen Indonesian fishermen remain jailed in Malaysia for border violations that, according to one official, occurred when the anglers accidentally crossed into Malaysian waters.
“(The fishermen) were caught mostly because of their ignorance of the border,” said Ihya Ulumuddin, North Sumatra chapter secretary of the Indonesian Fisherman Association (HSNI). “Their boats are not equipped with navigation instruments.”
The fishermen, many who hail from Deli Serdang in North Sumatra, are currently serving between three and five months in jail. The fisherman’s association has asked the Malaysian government to reduce their sentences and has called on provincial government to join the fight.
The Directorate of Resources Supervision at the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has been advocating for the jailed fishers. Thirteen fishermen from Batubara, North Sumatra, were released on February 29, but 19 others still remain in detention, Nugroho Adji, director of violations at the ministry said.