By John Isaac
THE 33 Malaysians flown home from Nigeria on a special flight arranged by the Malaysia High Commission landed safely at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 4pm yesterday.
This was disclosed by Malcolm Goh, who is among the 12 Sarawakians on board the flight.
The 39-year-old from Kuching was elated to finally reach home and sighed a huge relief.
“We thank you so much for the assistance and support from you all.
“I will be flying to Kuching today via 2.50pm’s flight,” Goh said in a brief WhatsApp message to The Borneo Post yesterday.
He had taken his swab test upon arrival at the airport and tested negative for Covid-19.
He said passengers did their test individually, and that he received his results first and had checked into a hotel.
Goh was on a contract as a subsea inspection engineer and has been an offshore diver for the past 12 years.
The plight of Sarawakians stranded in Nigeria came to light, when Goh pleaded with the Malaysian government for help to fly home on Facebook.
During an earlier interview, he said he missed his family, the food and the people.
Last Saturday, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said he got in touch with Goh and that the group would take a flight to Dubai on June 22 before taking another connecting flight on June 24 to Kuala Lumpur.
The minister had also pointed out that there were 24,000 Malaysians stranded in 24 countries, and the government was trying its best to bring them home.
Wan Junaidi said the Malaysian High Commission under the instruction from Putrajaya has been working hard to find ways and means to bring the stranded Malaysians home.
“The matter is being discussed from time to time at the Ministerial Committee on Covid-19 MCO meeting.
“At my request, when I raised up the issue of 56 Malaysians stranded in Lagos, Nigeria, the prime minister directed the Committee to work together with the MoF (Ministry of Finance) to come up with a solution.
“Several arrangements were made and those who could not catch an arrangement due to the host country lockdown and procedure could get on the alternative flight to Malaysia,” Wan Junaidi said then.
Of the 56 Malaysians stranded in Nigeria, 13 of them Sarawakians who mostly worked in the oil and gas industry.