Stranded Malaysians return home from Middle East – Kamarudin Jaffar

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — More Malaysians safely returned home today through a repatriation process conducted by the Foreign Ministry, after being stranded in several countries in the Middle East due to lack of flights because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar in a statement today said Malaysians stranded in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco had arrived safely at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) this afternoon.

“Ninety-one people stranded in Saudi Arabia arrived at KLIA at about 1.05 pm on a Malindo Air flight. They had previously boarded a Saudia Airlines humanitarian flight sent by the Singapore Government to bring back its citizens from Saudi Arabia.

“While 312 Malaysians stranded in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco arrived here around 1.40 pm aboard a specially chartered Air Asia X aircraft, passengers from Morocco boarding these flights were flown from Morocco to Algeria to participate in the repatriation mission,” he said.

According to Kamarudin, 17 Indonesians, six Singaporeans, nine Japananese and two Koreans were also allowed to board the aircraft in the spirit of ‘ASEAN solidarity’ and all of them were scheduled to take  connecting flights to return to their respective countries.

He said the Malaysian government would like to thank all the countries that assisted in making this mission successful.

In the meantime, the ministry also welcomed the arrival of 371 Malaysians from Egypt who arrived today at 5.25 am. They returned on their own expense by boarding a Zara Zakiah Sdn Bhd aircraft.

Kamarudin has been leading Wisma Putra’s mission to bring home around 10,000 Malaysians stranded abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic.