10,480 Malaysians overseas could end up stranded, says Ismail Sabri

Senior minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob says the government is working to facilitate the return of Malaysians stranded overseas although travel restrictions remain in many countries.

PUTRAJAYA: The government estimates that about 10,480 Malaysians overseas could end up being stranded abroad because of various international travel restrictions.

Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said there were an estimated 457,000 Malaysians currently overseas, with 387,702 of them registered with their respective Malaysian embassies.

He said the 10,484 citizens abroad who might become stranded comprised those who recently lost their jobs there or are finishing their studies..

“The government is working to facilitate the return of stranded Malaysians. However, there are some restrictions based on the laws of certain countries, including the restriction of foreign planes from landing in their country.

“Wisma Putra has been asked to discuss with its foreign counterparts for a solution,” he said in his daily press briefing today.

Ismail said Wisma Putra would present a detailed plan as well as the costs for the repatriation process of these Malaysians.

He said it was suggested at the special ministers meeting today that the Covid-19 fund be used to facilitate the return of stranded citizens.

He said 1,197 citizens had returned yesterday from Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Qatar, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, China, Turkey and the Philippines.

Of these, only one was taken to hospital while the remaining 1,196 were allowed to undergo home quarantine.

He added that 414 people undergoing home quarantine had yet to go for a second screening, urging them to do so immediately.

Ismail said police detained 251 people yesterday for flouting the recovery movement control order, 111 of whom were remanded and 140 fined.

He said 126 of them were caught at pubs and nightclubs, 123 had participated in activities that made social distancing difficult and two were detained for breaching SOPs.

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