KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government is ready to help Sabahans detained in Poi Pet, Cambodia, since Dec 11, if it is necessary.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said he will first gather information on why the 47 Malaysias, some believed to be Sabahans, were detained.
“First, I have to get the accurate details as to why they were detained and where necessary, we will try our best to get them back here,” he said after a Chinese New Year function in Kolombong near here Sunday (Feb 10).
He said similar to cases of stranded students overseas, the state government would deal with the Foreign Ministry and communicate with their counterparts in the country involved to handle any matters that arise.
Asked if the state government has received any information about this particular case, Shafie said ‘not yet’.
It is learnt that the 47 Malaysians, including 44 Sarawakians, were duped into working in Cambodia.
They were said to have been promised high-paying jobs but instead became victims of trafficking syndicates and later detained by the local authorities there for allegedly being involved in online gambling activities.
They were never charged in court but according to Cambodian laws, they can be detained without trial up to three years.
Earlier in the event, the Semporna MP reiterated the need for all Sabahans to stay united and work together for the betterment of the state.
“Let us focus on bringing Sabah to greater heights while maintaining the unity we have enjoyed for so long,” he said.
Shafie said people of various races and religions should not only get together during the festive seasons but all the time.
“A working relationship with all the people in the country must be a long-term effort,” he said.
Also present during the event was Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman.