KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam have successfully carried out a mutual repatriation effort to bring back their respective citizens from abroad, said Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar.
He said 84 Malaysians stranded in Egypt boarded a specially chartered flight by the Bruneian government from Egypt to Bandar Seri Begawan, which also carried the kingdom’s citizens stranded there.
“The flight arrived safely at 9.08am today. At the same time, 134 Brunei citizens were brought home from Malaysia via a Malaysia Airlines flight, which left for Bandar Seri Begawan at 5.15am today,” Kamarudin said in a statement.
The same flight subsequently brought back the 84 Malaysians in Brunei, and touched down in Kuala Lumpur at 12.11pm just now.
“On behalf of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the prime minister, government, and all Malaysians, I wish to thank His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah for his assent in granting the 84 Malaysians permission to join the flight back to Brunei.
“This effort could not have been realised without the close two-way cooperation, including several quarters like the Brunei High Commission in Putrajaya, the Malaysian High Commission in Bandar Seri Begawan, the Malaysian Embassy in Egypt, Education Malaysia Global Services, as well as the Malaysian Health and Immigration ministries,” he said.
The deputy minister added the government will continue to ensure the security, health and welfare of Malaysians stranded abroad will not be ignored, and that it remains committed in rendering the appropriate aid.
“In this challenging situation, the government welcomes the cooperation from any quarters who wish to lend aid in its efforts to repatriate Malaysians currently stranded abroad,” Kamarudin said.
Yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said over RM50 million will be needed to bring back Malaysians in the United States and the United Kingdom, should both countries implement travel restrictions.
He urged those who wish to return home to do so now while commercial flights remain available, so as to avoid unnecessary complications later on.