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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, June 20: All 12 stranded Sarawakians in Nigeria are expected to return to Kuala Lumpur on June 24, 2020.
Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar revealed that these stranded Sarawakians will catch a flight, arranged by the Malaysia High Commission, to fly from Lagos to Dubai on June 22, 2020.
“They will then take another connecting flight on June 24, 2020 to head back to Kuala Lumpur,” Wan Junaidi told DayakDaily.
One regret, according to Wan Junaidi, was that not all Malaysians are on this flight because the news came in too sudden.
“Some (Malaysians) are staying far away from Lagos and can’t be mobilised in time for the flight. However, all the 12 Sarawakians have gotten their tickets,” said Wan Junaidi who is also Entrepreneur Development and Co-operatives Minister.
He said as of yesterday (June 19, 2020), 33 Malaysians are expected to board the June 22 flight.
“Malaysia High Commission is still looking into another flight on June 25, 2020 to send remaining Malaysians home,” said Wan Junaidi.
One of the stranded Sarawakians, Malcolm Goh thanks Wan Junaidi, Putrajaya and Malaysia High Commission in Abuja as well as Sarawak government for the assistance to bringing the stranded Malaysians back.
On June 3, DayakDaily broke the news that a total of 30 Malaysians including 10 Sarawakians involved in the oil and gas industry are stranded in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria and one Sarawakian among them is sending out a desperate SOS through social media.
According to the Sarawakian from Kuching, Malcolm Goh, in his Facebook post on June 2 at 9.53pm, seeking assistance through social media was his last resort to seek repatriation from Lagos. He asked whoever coming across his posting to share the message, with the hope that it will catch the attention of someone who can help.
Goh’s message caught the attention of Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, who had intervened by requesting Putrajaya for an evacuation flight for these stranded Malaysians.
Meanwhile, Wan Junaidi said there are 24,000 Malaysian stranded in 24 countries across the globe and the government is trying its best to bring these Malaysians home.
“The Malaysian High Commission under the instructions from Putrajaya through Wisma Putra is working hard to find ways and means to care and to bring these Malaysians home. The matter is being discussed from time to time at the Ministerial Committee on Covid-19 MCO (movement control order) meeting.
“At my request when I raised up the issue of 56 Malaysian stranded in Lagos Nigeria, the Prime Minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) has directed that the Committee to work together with Ministry of Finance to come up with solution,” said Wan Junaidi. — DayakDaily