Former Vietnamese boat people return to Bidong Island for the first time in 40 years. | COVER STORY

Former Vietnamese boat people return to Bidong Island for the first time in 40 years. | COVER STORY



during a wartime we never think about escape leaving our country even though bomb and thing going on he's sounding beeping I'm their home can't go doc Newton I can do the other people I'm getting me because I was very innocent because I thought this is like a travel because we pay for the ticket my brother came home on one night and say okay we're ready to go hang out the long time on the way here we met other boat people I'm Malaysian boat people and then you'd give us direction B don't we don't we don't know what is we don't I think we land right there and that the old wooden jetty and we land right there that's the first time I land in – this will all be done this place give me a second change the second life restart everything from here new language new culture no money the Malaysian government said March 14th 1989 as a cutoff date to arrive on the island these former inhabitants of the island have returned to mark its 30th anniversary one of them is vanship who was the first from his family to escape to be don't why we escaped what 1st and 2nd and 3rd let me explain that because you never know you're gonna make it you don't want the whole family go out and done and if something happened to one the other still make another journey after the country fell to the Communists van and his family were sent to work in a camp he escaped on a stolen guards boat we're lucky elbow or gasoline we even have weapon we started above before we stole van arrived in Butte on in late 1978 shortly after the Malaysian government decided to set it up as a refugee camp at the time there no cement around here that yet to obtain and stick we see a bunch of them and a bunch of people hundr on the sand or in over there where we sleep so we don't have clothes we got only one set of clock whatever we got for the neck how many month that's from outsider shipping in forgive you know 90% of them there woman clothes and yeah we look like girl you know at when the Sun go down because our hair is long and we wear woman stuff can be pink color to these former refugees were back to clean up the grave sites and to offer prayers to those who perished at sea in their pursuit of freedom Lydia Hassan new yen was 22 years old when she escaped with her brother and sister-in-law during the three-day journey Lydia's boat was robbed by thigh pirates three times and I remember I was so innocent enough when the first one came and then I just show them my ring the pirate who just show the knife and then the people started taking that stuff belonging to gave it to them and that was it Lydia arrived on the island when its population was at its peak with forty thousand refugees crammed into a 13 hectare area south of the island we came to beloved own we don't need you don't need to walk people just post you you were just like standing there boom boom boom boom you're like suddenly you will go somewhere that was how crowded it is I was pushed to the hospital and I slept there so and then in the morning I got up and I just realized this is a hospital Lydia's brother and sister-in-law sold their wedding rings to buy a small Hut there's nothing you just have a base and then for a stick in order to keep it stay that's it so and then I bump into one of my and then he gave me a piece of the cotton which is very valuable during that time because it's a smooth surface however I cannot sleep on it because I have sister-in-law so my brother took that piece I'm going back to square one I don't have it I still sleep on the branch is so painful Lydia also met a lady who left together with her but on different boats I didn't know anything's always like man we were so unlucky because we got dropped like three times and blah blah blah and I was complaining so and then she say that was it and I said yes so how was your journey and she say we got drop eight time drop eight time and raped eight time and they say what so that was the time that I was real like the danger there yeah because I don't I don't know anything prior to that conversation and I felt so sorry for him oh god you didn't touch em I know a home kiddin me rabbi ya didn't go home but no claw home Lee's first attempt was in June 1975 when he was just 9 years old he tried every year for the next 13 years before succeeding a Bolton allama cook in the rock l'avorton land a new home Dook Dook yaadon do da en de la comédie humaine yeah him a humvee Nia yep in Jordan coming to town dumain congregate a homeland then gave me to pass his time in bidong island home we often went fishing in the zone F Beach vamo guizhang much sake madam Liew if I Bank I'm sure somebody realized that mango t he when he needed to mutiny okay cycle gender Mouton maman man gangnam-gu cheongdam-dong Oaxaca de Senado bottom edit a mommy temperamental economy honey Rocklin yarn in the baby rafinha koneko koneko mechanical sound 91 milligram of the the cunning new hobby hi dr. Lyon County hobby bank I only made a vow to return to give a proper burial to the infants after he had resettled he stayed on the island for two years before going to Canada more than 1.6 million Vietnamese were resettled between 1975 and 1997 many had to endure the treacherous journey at sea lam some talk was 17 when he left Vietnam his boat was robbed by thigh pirates and the women were abducted by jana novotná talks friend Hong left Vietnam a day after them unfortunately they ran into the same pipe iris hey hey hey hey all the way back room with I'm not a beggar bye Joe yeah I feel back when you talk to me about the 14th man sometimes I don't want to remember that day it hurt for Allah but we try to to make the louder to add the boat come it only coming faster before the midnight and then that night look like we we we didn't sleep right we don't care about the curfew stop either and I'm here you know yeah yeah I can give you one we're gonna do what I ain't my name in mime and uh comes on your thing bye honey get up when good morning I'm on writing my mom oh yeah making funny game and Yamanaka there were huge protests in malaysia against the forced repatriation not protest malaysian government what protests has been like we want to go to the third country we don't want to go back home now we want to let malaysian government and the UN to know us not the one who goes back home being returned to Vietnam in 1996 and when we get home so we have to transfer to the color holding center for pre nine and at a time they the Communist Vietnamese or the interviewers a lot thanks to a humanitarian operation by the u.s. to help those involved with a former regime or who worked for the USA then finally made it to Louisiana where he now lives with his wife and two children the resettlement process varied case-by-case for some it took months for others years Lydia was in beat'em for four months before being resettled to California they didn't have a chance so I think we were looking very look van stayed for 11 months before going to Georgia to live with his aunt and her American husband the top is harsh but we wait for the day that we can leave the island and go through the third-world country somewhere that we start our new life I like to see that the whole white war with our borders if the first don't know the history I don't think they are first in anymore unfortunately in Vietnam they tried to destroy the history of Vietnam itself I hope what we've been through what I told you how bad how good I hope younger generation look at us hopefully the history won't repeat treat each other like a human place when Beetle Island was closed as a refugee camp on 30th October 1991 more than 250,000 Vietnamese had passed through or resided in the camp it was the highest number out of all the Vietnamese refugee camps in the region today beetle island serves as universiti malaysia terengganu marine research station tourists can also make day trips to the island they were called working in Vietnam man I'm good without in the hema immigrant tip top Tim Hill Grant Hill the collection Mactan google charity young gentleman verse formula v dou y que no te amo human la moo-sical Namibian you know that contra la Vida could you wait a very Tamra Etobicoke Nonya me la multi Cancun out in the Malibu come to tear to your eye

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5 thoughts on “Former Vietnamese boat people return to Bidong Island for the first time in 40 years. | COVER STORY

  1. Hi R.AGE!

    I was a minor at Bidong back then, and I’ve been back and forth to Bidong numerous times for nearly consecutive 10 years but never I heard anyone called Bidong as a “Hell Island “.

    Totally agree with you about the harsh living conditions back then but not up near to the point that we would have lacked of food and water supplies daily. Nor haven’t had anyone died from starvation yet? So excuse the term “barely livable “! Yet, majority of people were there for the same reason of seeking a FREEDOM, not for the economic comfort, and they better all knew that Bidong was just a transitional temporary place prior to their new horizon in the third world countries. Last but least they all went through either horrible lethally piracy, tremendous oceanic typhoons, deadly starvation, lost of direction etc on their escapes, and such those things could have took their life away unremorsefully and irreversibly. Such and such, death or discomforting ? Which one is more superior and significant? You choose it!

    On top of that, Bidong was still in a better condition than many refugee camps (Songkhla, Sikew, Panatikhom, etc) in Thailand in terms of water and food supplies, living environment, UHNCR services, etc you name them all!

    I just wonder myself that for those who unhappily complained about the harsh living conditions in Bidong’s why did you not stay on a porch at where you were originally from so you could enjoy all the comforts? Why bothered to risk your life just to “exchange “ for a worse living condition in Bidong?

    R.AGE, You guys are as movie makers and to especially document the history of Bidong’s , you must do better supportive researches to depict truly about Bidong, instead of listening to only few negative comments of ungrateful bidongers and hastily named Bidong as a HELL Island. That was profusely not correct, not right, and not kind to Bidong Island itself, to many Bidongers, to the UHNCR , to MRC, and to the government of Malaysia!

    Shall it be more appropriate to name Bidong as the "HOPE ISLAND"; The Island of Survival, The Island of Hope, The Island of Freedom.

    Your considerateness!

    P/s: per your statement Bidong was given a nickname as “Hell Island “, may you kindly direct me to that reference please!

  2. Um. History constantly teaches us that socialism/ communism doesn’t work. Millions of people died because of it and this documentary is blaming borders? Women and children are getting raped, kidnapped, and sold for sex today without wars. Imagine risking your life like this by false promises that you’re guaranteed a better life entering the US.

    “Treat us like humans, please.” Imagine saying that to a Thai pirate. Instead of “I wish the world was borderless”, how about “I wish the world was peaceful and free so that no one has to cross the border to fight for their lives”.

    Without our border, we are not a nation. Stop with the propaganda and teach us REAL history: COMMUNISM/ SOCIALISM DOESN’T WORK.

  3. Hi R.AGE!

    I was a minor at Bidong back then, and I’ve been back and forth to Bidong numerous times for nearly consecutive 10 years but never I heard anyone called Bidong as a “Hell Island “.

    Totally agree with you about the harsh living conditions back then but not up near to the point that we would have lacked of food and water supplies daily. Nor haven’t had anyone died from starvation yet? So excuse the term “barely livable “! Yet, majority of people were there for the same reason of seeking a FREEDOM, not for the economic comfort, and they better all knew that Bidong was just a transitional temporary place prior to their new horizon in the third world countries. Last but least they all went through either horrible lethally piracy, tremendous oceanic typhoons, deadly starvation, lost of direction etc on their escapes, and such those things could have took their life away unremorsefully and irreversibly. Such and such, death or discomforting ? Which one is more superior and significant? You choose it!
    On top of that, Bidong was still in a better condition than many refugee camps (Songkhla, Sikew, Panatikhom, etc) in Thailand in terms of water and food supplies, living environment, UHNCR services, etc you name them all!

    I just wonder myself that for those who unhappily complained about the harsh living conditions in Bidong’s why did you not stay on a porch at where you were originally from so you could enjoy all the comforts? Why bothered to risk your life just to “exchange “ for a worse living condition in Bidong?

    R.AGE, You guys are as movie makers and to especially document the history of Bidong’s , you must do better supportive researches to depict truly about Bidong, instead of listening to only few negative comments of ungrateful bidongers and hastily named Bidong as a HELL Island. That was profusely not correct, not right, and not kind to Bidong Island itself, to many Bidongers, to the UHNCR , to MRC, and to the government of Malaysia!

    Shall it be more appropriate to name Bidong as the "HOPE ISLAND"; The Island of Survival, The Island of Hope, The Island of Freedom.

    Your considerateness!

    P/s: per your statement Bidong was given a nickname as “Hell Island “, may you kindly direct me to that reference please!

  4. Nice documentary. But the title is not appropriate I think.
    Hell Island? When you lari dari peperangan, ke satu pulau yang aman.?
    You guys called it Pulau Neraka?
    Yes, it is crammed and blablabla, but it is better than stay at their home with all the war going on.

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