Sabah working with China to facilitate sending back of Chinese nationals

Tourists wearing masks at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport January 24, 2020, following the novel coronavirus outbreak. — Bernama pic
Tourists wearing masks at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport January 24, 2020, following the novel coronavirus outbreak. — Bernama pic

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KOTA KINABALU, Feb 1 — The Sabah government will work closely with the Chinese government to facilitate the process of sending home citizens of the republic who are in the state, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

In a way, he said it would also facilitate efforts to bring home the Sabah people who are in China.

He said Sabah would continue to maintain good relations with China, despite the decision by the state in suspending all flights from the republic following the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“If there are Malaysians from Sabah in China who want to fly back home, we allow that flight, but if the flight brings in tourists from China, that will not be allowed.

“We are taking this measure to ensure the safety and well-being of the people of Sabah (from novel coronavirus infection),” he told reporters after attending a Chinese New Year open house hosted by Putatan Parti Warisan Sabah in Tanjung Aru near here today.

The state cabinet, at a meeting last Wednesday, decided to suspend all scheduled and chartered flights from China to Sabah.

Mohd Shafie said although the decision will affect Sabah’s economy since the Chinese nationals are among the major contributors to the state’s tourism, the health of the people should be the priority.

He said the flights from China to Sabah will resume once the situation returns to normal and the Chinese nationals who have arrived in the state could remain as long as their visas are valid. — Bernama

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