Cambodian workers stranded in Malaysia plead to return

Cambodian workers stranded in Malaysia plead to return

PETALING JAYA: Cambodian workers stuck in Malaysia after flights were cancelled in April have been given some support from the Cambodian embassy, but they are looking forward to returning home because work is scarce.

Ham Saly from Kampong Cham told The Phnom Penh Post on Thursday that he spent more than RM1,000 in April to buy a ticket home but his flight was cancelled.

He then returned to Kelantan with five fellow Cambodians. He said he lost his job as a construction worker and now does whatever job possible just to survive.

“I want to return to Cambodia, but now I am not allowed. I don’t know what to do now besides looking for any small job I can find. When I am allowed to go back, I will just go,” he said.

He said he was given financial support of about US$90 by the Cambodian embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Some other Cambodians also gave him some money to survive.

He said a lot of people had flocked to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in April to head home. Some were stranded but received help from the embassy, while those who were from nearby states returned to look for jobs and wait for information from it.

Toulors Mansort, from Kampong Cham, said he had been in Malaysia for three years. After working in construction for some time, he decided to stop and chose to sell drinking water at construction sites. But he has been jobless for four months now.

He said on Wednesday, he received about 10kg of rice, noodles and canned fish from the embassy, which he could eat for a week.

He said he was looking forward to information from the embassy about when he could return to Cambodia.

“Until now, I don’t hear anything, but I really want to go back home because staying here I have to spend a lot, such as for electricity and water. Now, I am jobless since all jobs are closed,” he said.

On Monday the Cambodian embassy issued a press statement denying accusations from some migrant workers that it had not helped them, the Post reported

It said it sent a diplomatic note to Malaysian Airlines to organise a flight to Cambodia and requested that the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs allow special flights during the restriction period.

But the embassy had not received a response from the airline. So, the date of a flight depends on the airline, the embassy said.

The embassy said it had given assistance to more than 1,600 Cambodians in Malaysia. — The Phnom Penh Post

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