KUALA LUMPUR — A total of 2,982 Malaysian citizens are still stranded in 55 countries due to flight cancellations and travel restrictions imposed by the respective countries following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said his ministry had so far brought home 2,417 Malaysians from 26 countries.
“This includes two flights arriving today, one from Bangladesh and one from Italy carrying a total of 306 Malaysian citizens,” he said in a press conference streamed live on Wisma Putra’s Facebook page today.
Kamarudin said the success of the repatriation exercise was due to the cooperation of Malaysian representatives abroad with the involvement of various agencies including the National Security Council (MKN), National Disaster Management Agency, Ministry of Health as well as airline companies MAS and AirAsia.
“Not to be left out is the MIC, which has financed the cost of flights from India and Bangladesh, and T7 Global Berhad which financed the cost of flying Malaysians back from Cambodia,” he said.
Kamarudin said the Government had brought back 1,257 Malaysians from India through cooperation among Wisma Putra, MIC and other commercial airlines, and according to records, about 1,700 citizens are still stranded in several Indian cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Trichy.
However, he said the number was likely to increase as more people reported themselves to Malaysian representatives in India.
“Wisma Putra wishes to emphasise that there is no discrimination or favouritism in trying to bring Malaysians stranded overseas,” he said.
According to Kamarudin, the government will continue to strive to ensure that no Malaysians stranded overseas are deprived of their safety, health and welfare, and the ministry remains committed to providing them with appropriate assistance.