Published on Mar 23, 2012
Right after the Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975, thousands of educated citizens and scholars were punished, imprisoned, killed, or assassinated. Hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese government and army officers were put in concentration camp for unlimited time. Their families were forced to move out to controlled inhospitable lands called New Economic Zones or the outskirts of large cities.
Millions of people tried to flee the Communist regime.
Pulau Bidong is a small island in Terrenganu, Malaysia. It is situated off the coast of Terengganu in the South China Sea. A refugee camp for Vietnamese boat people was set up on this island by Malaysian government and UNHCR. It was officially opened on August 8th, 1978 and closed on Oct. 30th, 1991. By the time it was closed, about 250,000 refugees went through this camp.
Over 240,000 Vietnamese refugees in Malaysia were accepted by third countries, mostly by the U.S., Canada, Australia and France.
After Pulau Bidong camp was closed, over 9,000 refugees were deported back to Vietnam. The forced repatriation met strong protests from the remaining refugees.
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