PUTRAJAYA: Wisma Putra is seeking an additional RM19mil allocation to repatriate Malaysians stranded in countries where commercial flights have been suspended.
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar said this does not include stranded Malaysians in the United States and the United Kingdom where commercial flights were still available.
He said for countries where commercial flights were available, the respective missions would arrange new flight dates.
“In countries where there are no commercial flights flying in and out any more, we are seeking an additional allocation to bring stranded Malaysians home, ” he said.
Kamarudin said questions had been raised over Wisma Putra's priorities after help was sent to a country where only three Malaysians were stranded compared to other countries where there were many more.
He urged Malaysians abroad in countries where commercial flights were still available to leave as soon as possible before travel restrictions were tightened further and more flights were suspended.
“Do register with our missions so that they can help you, ” he said in a video statement on Facebook Live on Friday (March 27).
Kamarudin also said the number of Malaysians stranded overseas had reached 3,468 people in 61 countries, adding that the increase is because of a surge in the number of stranded Malaysians in Chennai registering with the mission there.
Kamarudin said in the latest repatriation exercise, the Brunei government agreed to bring back Malaysians who were stranded in Cairo, Egypt, in its repatriation exercise for its citizens.
There are 86 Malaysians who are stranded in Cairo.
"However, due to limited seats, only 51 people will be flown back. Priority is given to senior citizens and tourists," he said.
The flight is expected to arrive in Bandar Seri Begawan on Sunday at 8.40am.
"On behalf of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Prime Minister, the government and all Malaysians, I would like to express deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, for consenting to the repatriation of 51 Malaysians in the flight that will be sent by the Brunei government to Cairo," he said.
The government has also repatriated 162 Malaysians from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam on Thursday.
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