Ministry: 6,749 Malaysians have returned from overseas

A Malaysian health quarantine officer waits for passengers at a thermal screening point at the international arrival terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang January 21, 2020. — Reuters pic
A Malaysian health quarantine officer waits for passengers at a thermal screening point at the international arrival terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang January 21, 2020. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — A total of 6,749 Malaysians who were stranded in 51 countries, have returned home as at 6pm today, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said.

He said the costs incurred in bringing the Malaysians home were either borne by the government, political parties, private companies or through personal funds.

Since yesterday, 306 Malaysians have arrived from India, 65 (Philippines), 45 (New Zealand), four (Australia) and 24 (Japan),” he said in a statement today. 

“In addition, a second group comprising 40 Malaysians from New Zealand is scheduled to arrive on flight MH144 at 7.30pm today,” he said adding that another 1,025 are still stranded in 20 countries.

He said the ministry and Malaysian missions overseas would continue to play a pro-active role to facilitate the Malaysians’ safe return soon.

Meanwhile, Kamarudin said the Foreign Ministry received a report that 161 Malaysian tabligh members are being quarantined in India with 126 being placed in New Delhi quarantine centres, while 35 others are in centres located outside New Delhi.

“Wisma Putra was informed that the Indian authorities had prevented some Malaysians from boarding the flight home from the Indira Gandhi International Airport yesterday. They were detained as the Indian Government has ruled that those who had attended a tabligh assembly at Markaz Nizamuddin from  March 10 to 13 will have to be quarantined,” he said.

He said the Malaysian High Commission in New Delhi had been in constant communication with the Indian authorities to ensure that the rights and welfare of those involved are protected, and that they are given the necessary assistance.

Kamaruddin who is also the Foreign Ministry’s Covid-19 Task Force chairman said, 78 Malaysians who had been stranded in Singapore were brought home on April 2. 

“The trip to transport the group, comprising pregnant women, the elderly, the disabled and children across the causeway, was made possible due to the close cooperation between the two countries,” he said.

The Foreign Ministry had also taken note of the Singapore government’s move to implement partial lockdown beginning April 3, 2020.

He said the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore was gathering information on the number of Malaysian workers employed in the city state, adding that about 25,000 Malaysians were still there.

On the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) letter dated March 29, 2020 over the decision whether the USM-KLE Malaysian students should be sent home, Kamaruddin said the matter should be referred to the Higher Education Ministry (KPT). — Bernama

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