3,026 Malaysians still stranded overseas waiting to return home

The foreign affairs ministry says almost half of the stranded Malaysians are in India. (Wisma Putra Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: A total of 3,026 Malaysians are still stranded in 45 countries, with almost half of them in India, says the foreign affairs ministry.

In a statement, deputy foreign minister Kamarudin Jaffar said 1,446 Malaysians are still in India, though efforts are underway to bring them home with seven chartered flights set to return between today and Sunday.

The other countries with a large number of stranded Malaysians are Thailand (259), Australia (152), New Zealand (149), Pakistan (144), Vietnam (131), Saudi Arabia (121), the Philippines (97), Sri Lanka (61) and Nepal (50).

“Of the 3,026 Malaysians who are stranded, only 2,016 people are tourists or short-stay visitors while the remainder are Malaysians who are permanent residents (of other countries), staying abroad, expatriates or students but are planning to return during the movement control order (MCO) period.

“They can be categorised as non-critical stranded (citizens),” he said.

To date, Kamarudin said, a total of 4,577 Malaysians have returned through repatriation funded by the government, political parties, the private sector or individual donors.

Malaysia is now in the second phase of the MCO until April 14 and all returning Malaysians are screened at the airport and expected to undergo quarantine for 14 days.