Physical description

This mass grave is to bury 139 Vietnamese boat people (VBP) in an escape boat of MT065. They arrived at the shore of Cherang Ruku, Kelantan state of Malaysia in the late afternoon of 31 Nov 1978, with the push-back policy, the boat was not allowed to unload a number of more than 300 boat people in the small boat. They had to anchore at a distance of about 200 metre away from the shore. In the early morning of 1-Dec-1978 a storm of the monsoon season quickly swept over the area. The boat was capsized. 139 + 49 boat people were killed. Bodies of 139 VBP were washed ashore into the beach of Cherang Ruku, were collected and buried in this mass grave. The remains of another 49 VBP were collected 4 days later and buried in Balai Bachok, about 30 km away from Cherang Ruku. The 5 grave stones with a name list of 123 VBP were built by the UN HCR with the names they could find. The man who was in charge of burying these VBP was interviewed in 2010, retold the story and confirmed he buried 139 bodies, not 123.

Inscriptions & markings

Mass grave of VBP in Cherang Ruku, Malaysia