Sabah to seek release of group held in Cambodia

The majority of the 47 detained in Phnom Penh are from Sabah and Sarawak, says the Malaysian embassy there. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: The state government will help secure the release of Sabahans who are reported to be among 47 Malaysians detained in Cambodia.

The Malaysians, including nine women, were picked up on the outskirts of Phnom Penh on Dec 11 after a recruitment agency apparently hoodwinked them by promising them high-paying jobs.

A check by the Malaysian embassy found that they were mostly from Sabah and Sarawak.

Chief Minister Shafie Apdal said the state government is gathering information on why they were arrested in the first place.

“We will try our best to get them back here,” he told reporters after a Chinese New Year event hosted by Sepanggar MP Azis Jamman here today.

He said that like in cases of students stranded overseas, the state government will liaise with the foreign ministry for details of the Sabahans.

Julau MP Larry Sng had said in Kuching that efforts were being made to seek an early release of those detained with the help of Wisma Putra.

He said the families were concerned about the safety of their loved ones following reports that those arrested could be held without trial for three years.