More than 3,000 Malaysians brought home - Kamarudin

A total of 3,201 Malaysians stranded overseas have been brought home via government-funded repatriation missions as well as through political and private donations so far.

Kamarudin also said that Wisma Putra was actively involved in negotiations with foreign governments through diplomatic channels. - Filepic/BERNAMA | Astro Awani
A total of 3,201 Malaysians stranded overseas have been brought home via government-funded repatriation missions as well as through political and private donations so far, says Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar.

He said, however, 4,374 Malaysians are still reported to be stranded in 56 countries, with the largest number in India involving 2,156 people.

Among the other countries with stranded Malaysians are Indonesia (680 people); Thailand (337); Australia (226); New Zealand (153); Saudi Arabia (121); Pakistan (128); Philippines (54); Sri Lanka (50) and the United Arab Emirates (43).

"The number of those stranded in India is expected to decrease as more are brought home using 11 special flights," he said during a press conference today.

Kamarudin said 179 people who were stranded in Amritsar, India, arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 10.50 pm Monday (March 30), while 144 people arrived from Myanmar via a special flight this afternoon.

On a news portal report regarding 18 Malaysians stranded in Bolivia, Kamarudin said the Malaysian Embassy in Lima, Peru, had contacted them and provided the appropriate consular assistance.

Meanwhile, commenting on the alleged claim that Wisma Putra had left it to third parties to help facilitate the return of Malaysians overseas, he stressed that the support received was only in terms of financing the flight costs.

Kamarudin also said that Wisma Putra was actively involved in negotiations with foreign governments through diplomatic channels.

"Definitely, the effort to help Malaysians who are stranded is apolitical. This means that everyone is encouraged to help the Malaysian government. In this trying time, all parties should join forces and work together.

Meanwhile, Kamarudin advised Malaysians abroad who wished to return to Malaysia to arrange commercial flights as soon as possible before airlines suspend operations or if the government in that country banned all flights.

-- BERNAMA