World

Southeast Asian nations to set up humanitarian fund to help boat people

  • From left to right, Malaysian Home Ministry Secretary General Alwi Haji Ibrahim, Home Affairs Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysian national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar and Home Affairs Principal Assistant Secretary International Division Abdul Munir Lutfi attend and an emergency ASEAN ministerial meeting on the migrant crisis in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, July 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

    From left to right, Malaysian Home Ministry Secretary General Alwi Haji Ibrahim, Home Affairs Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysian national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar and Home Affairs Principal Assistant Secretary International Division Abdul Munir Lutfi attend and an emergency ASEAN ministerial meeting on the migrant crisis in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, July 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ministers and representatives from ASEAN countries attend a meeting on the regional migrant crisis in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, July 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

    Ministers and representatives from ASEAN countries attend a meeting on the regional migrant crisis in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, July 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)  (The Associated Press)

A Malaysian minister says Southeast Asian countries will establish a humanitarian fund to help boatloads of Rohingya Muslim and Bangladeshi immigrants who have recently landed in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand.

Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Zahid Hamidi also says Singapore has pledged $200,000 to the fund at a special regional meeting Thursday on the refugee crisis.

Since early May, more than 4,600 boat people from Myanmar and Bangladesh have come ashore in Southeast Asian waters. The United Nations estimates some 2,000 migrants could still be at sea after human smugglers abandoned their boats amid a regional crackdown.

Zahid says he has proposed that each Southeast Asian nation contribute $100,000 each to the fund.