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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bidong Island is a small island in Terengganu, Malaysia. It is situated off the coast of Terengganu in the South China Sea. Bidong Island is accessible from the coastal town of Merang.

History

In 1978, a refugee camp for Vietnamese boat people was set up on this island by the Malaysian Government and UNHCR. By the time it was closed in 1991, about 250,000 refugees went through the camp before being accepted mostly by the United States, Canada, Australia and France. After the camp was closed, many refugees were deported back to Vietnam. The forced repatriation met strong protests from the remaining refugees.

On April 30, 1975, the Vietnam War ended. Millions of people tried to flee the new Communist rule in Vietnam. On May 1975, the first boat with 47 people arrived in Malaysia from Vietnam. Over 250,000 Vietnamese refugees landed on Malaysia.

Bidong Island was officially open on August 8th, 1978. On October 30th, 1991, Pulau Bidong was closed (Mohamad). In 1996, Sungei Besi was closed. Later, Over 9,000 Vietnamese refugees were repatriated back to Vietnam. On August 28, 2005 the last Vietnamese refugees were repatriated back to Vietnam.

Notes and references

Coordinates: 5°37′N 103°04′E / 5.617°N 103.067°E / 5.617; 103.067

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