PETALING JAYA: “My brother is alone and just wants to come home.”
This was the plea of 35-year-old Yvonne Juan Jyy Wen, whose younger brother is among 1,679 Malaysians still stranded in India following the subcontinent’s lockdown.
“My brother left for Goa, India, on March 8 to undergo a yoga training course which was supposed to end on April 4.
“His original flight back was cancelled by the airline when Malaysia declared the movement control order (MCO), ” she said yesterday.
Undeterred, she said her brother Juan Shang Hong (pic), 30, booked a flight back on March 22 via Chennai and Singapore.
However, she said he was unable to board the Singapore-bound flight due to confusion of the lockdown imposed by India and Singapore, respectively.
“He was fortunate to find a hotel which rented out rooms as most have turned away guests and foreigners since the lockdown.
“He just wants to come home to be with our 64-year-old mum in Subang Jaya” she said.
Yvonne, who is in daily contact with her sibling, said her brother and a large number of other stranded Malaysians were worried about their fate.
“There was talk at the airport that the last flight back to Malaysia was on Tuesday night and this caused many to panic, ” she said.
Yvonne added that her brother had gone to the Malaysian consulate in Chennai twice to check if his name was listed for flights home.
“Along with other stranded Malaysians, they were told to wait for a call from their officers, ” she said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said that as of yesterday, 1,679 Malaysians were stranded in India.
So far, he said that a total of 1,119 have been brought home through AirAsia chartered flights with MIC agreeing to bear the flight costs.
MIC president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran urged those stranded in India to remain calm.
He gave the assurance that MIC was still assisting Wisma Putra in getting them home, and that with the lockdown the process would take some time.
The recent lockdown in several countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic saw disruption of many flights, leaving thousands stranded at major airports in the region.
Meanwhile, Kamarudin said 225 Malaysians stranded in Bangladesh arrived at KLIA at 5.46am on Thursday (March 26).
Among them were 130 students, 55 officers attached to the Malaysian field hospital in Cox's Bazaar, 35 expatriates and five Malaysian High Commission officers.
He said MIC had agreed to bear the cost of flight tickets for the Malaysian Airlines special chartered flight.
MIC has so far assisted Wisma Putra in bring home more than 1,000 stranded Malaysians in India and Bangladesh.
On Wednesday, Kamarudin said that 1,679 Malaysians were still stranded in India.
Recent lockdown orders by governments in several countries to stem the spread of Covid-19 has disrupted flights, leaving thousands stranded in several major airports in the region.
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