6,700 back from overseas, 1,000 still stranded

Malaysians stranded in India and desperate to return home. (Wisma Putra Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 6,749 Malaysians stranded in 51 countries have returned home as at 6pm today, Deputy Foreign Minister Kamarudin Jaffar said.

Another 1,025 are still stranded in 20 countries.

Kamarudin said the cost of bringing them home was either borne by the government, political parties or private companies or through personal funds.

“Since yesterday, 306 Malaysians have arrived from India, 65 from the Philippines, 45 from New Zealand, four from Australia and 24 from Japan,” he said in a statement.

A second group comprising 40 Malaysians from New Zealand was scheduled to arrive at 7.30pm today.

He said the ministry and Malaysian missions overseas would continue to help bring the Malaysians home.

Kamarudin also said the foreign ministry has received a report that 161 Malaysian tabligh members are being quarantined in India, with 126 placed in New Delhi quarantine centres and the rest in centres outside New Delhi.

“Wisma Putra was informed that the Indian authorities had prevented some Malaysians from boarding a flight home from the Indira Gandhi International Airport yesterday.

“They were detained as the Indian government has ruled that those who had attended a tabligh assembly at Markaz Nizamuddin from March 10 to 13 will have to be quarantined,” he said.

He said the high commission in New Delhi was in touch with the Indian authorities to ensure that the rights and welfare of the Malaysians are protected, and that they are given the necessary assistance.