Overseas Sarawakians in trouble urged to contact GPS govt for help

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, June 4: Sarawakians overseas who encounter any difficulties and problems are encouraged to contact the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government to get help and assistance.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised that the GPS government will do whatever it can to protect Sarawakians in difficult situations and ease their difficulties.

He highlighted this when asked about the state government’s actions following the news exposing the plight of Malaysians, including Sarawakians, stranded in Lagos, Nigeria yesterday (June 3).

“I have communicated with (Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi (Tuanku Jaafar) who will be bringing this matter to the Federal Cabinet, so we will wait for what to follow.

“We are all very concerned about the welfare of our people wherever they are.

“As such, Sarawakians out there facing any problems, do not hesitate to contact the GPS government. We are always here to protect and to do whatever we can to reduce your difficulties,” he told a press conference on Covid-19 here today.

Earlier today, Wan Junaidi told DayakDaily that he had already spoken to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar on this matter.

He added that there were many Malaysians still stranded overseas and the federal government is in talks with the respective countries on their repatriation with foreign governments on how a win-win situation could be achieved.

Yesterday (June 3), DayakDaily highlighted that there were 13 Sarawakians including 12 Ibans among the 30 Malaysians involved in the oil and gas industry, stranded on Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

Malcolm Goh, 39, one of the stranded Sarawakians, had taken to his Facebook page to send out a desperate SOS to seek repatriation from Lagos.

He asked whoever comes across his post 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 has intervened by requesting Putrajaya to arrange for an evacuation flight for these stranded Malaysians.

Initially, arrangements were made for the 30 Malaysians to board a flight on May 31 but the attempt failed as the Malaysia High Commission in Nigeria had yet to obtain approval from the Nigerian government for the evacuation flight.

As of 3.56pm of June 3, Putrajaya and the Malaysia High Commission in Nigeria in Abuja were still waiting for the approval of the Nigerian government for the chartered flight.

Goh explained that the Malaysians have been stranded in Lagos for two months already following a lockdown and closure of the Lagos Airport to prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Julau MP Larry Sng told DayakDaily there are at least 20 Sarawakians working in the oil and gas sector in Mumbai who are also stuck. — DayakDaily