Wednesday, March 20

Sarawak may send rep to Cambodia to help with jailed 44

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Abang Johari and Juma’ani (front, fourth and fifth left) cut a cake at the open house with (front, from left) Dr Sim, Uggah, Lee, Lee’s wife Datin Christina Kong, and Uggah’s wife Datin Amar Doreen Mayang. Rosey is at front right, Dr Abdul Rahman at back third right, and Gerawat at back, second left.

MIRI: The Sarawak government may send a representative to Cambodia to facilitate negotiations for the release of 44 Sarawakians currently being detained in a provincial jail there.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the Sarawak government has been in constant contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sarawak regional office in Kuching on the issue.

“We had been informed earlier of the detention of the 44 Sarawakians by Cambodian authorities but took the stand to allow negotiations by the Malaysian and Cambodian governments to be carried out without the blare of publicity,” he told reporters when visiting the Chinese New Year Open House of Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin yesterday.

“Since talks are still ongoing, we cannot publicise it, otherwise it would send a wrong message.”

Abang Johari urged Sarawakians to verify claims of high paying jobs advertised by recruitment agents to avoid being duped into doing illegal activities abroad.

“We got the information earlier from the Foreign Ministry and we let them handle it since it is under the Foreign Ministry. But I would like to warn Sarawakians not to succumb to such fake agencies.

“They must check the veracity of such claims before going abroad to work,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) is working its ties with an advisor to the Cambodian government to gather more details about the 44 detained Sarawakians.

SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is Minister of Housing and Local Government, said the party is looking for ways and means to assist the group through both formal and informal channels.

“I can’t say much at this point as details are very sketchy but we are doing our best to help,” he said.

Abang Johari’s entourage included his wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus, and Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala.