A suspected pirate skiff is seen in the sea near Sonalia's northern port town of Bossaso, June 16, 2009.Reuters

In a tragic incident, more than 40 Indonesian nationals working as illegal labourers reportedly went missing on Thursday night after their boat capsized near Malaysia's Johor state when they were on the way back to their native place .

Malaysian coast guards and fishermen managed to rescue eight survivors, who were said to be clinging on to plastic drums for several hours, confirmed a police official.

Majority of the missing includes women and children. According to reports, the undocumented labourers were trying to make way to Indonesia's Batam Island on the occasion of the Eid which marks the end of the sacred Ramadan month. The migrant workers were to ship off illegally the border to reach home.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Amran Daud was quoted by Agence France Presse (AFP) as saying, "Our operations are ongoing but we have found nothing yet...The condition of the boat was believed to be questionable."

Another MMEA official added that the rescue operations comprising two ships, four speedboats along with two helicopters were put to task in the search operations.

According to reports, the survivors along with the others were travelling from Tanjung Sedili, the south-east tip of Malaysian coast and didn't wear life saving jackets. The survivors rescued too were without the jackets.

A boat capsize incident happened on 18 July whereby 27 persons were rescued and a woman died. Boat drowning incidents are familiar in the country which plays a work place to innumerable illegal migrant workers from neighbouring countries.