Monday, March 1

89 stranded offshore workers glad to be home

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Some of the workers are back in Miri and are undergoing quarantine at a hotel in the city.

MIRI: Eighty-nine Sarawakian crew members of an offshore oil and gas construction company who were stranded in Brunei since Jan 15 following the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) here have successfully returned home on Tuesday.

They arrived at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Centre (CIQ) in Sungai Tujoh, Kuala Baram about 6pm and are now being quarantined at a hotel here.

The company’s representative in-charge of the crew members, Jimmy Ho, thanked Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin who is also Senadin assemblyman for helping to solve the problem of entry of all the crew members in less than 24 hours.

According to Ho, all crew members and their families were extremely relieved that their plight was promptly and diligently solved very fast.

He said all the crew members were looking forward to reunite with their families after having spent a few months offshore to complete a project.

He said all crew members have returned to Brunei on Jan 15.

“They all did their PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests the same day and the result obtained the next day were all negative,” he said.

However, he said they still could not return home as they were still waiting approval from the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), from where they had applied for permission to enter the state on Jan 16.

“We need to get SDMC pass before entering Sarawak. The pass must be applied online and the system is very slow causing us to be stuck in Brunei.

“The Bruneian authority also did not want to keep them. Therefore, we sought help from Datuk Lee who managed to solve our problem in less than 24 hours,” he added.

He added that his company would be responsible for quarantine expenses at a hotel here and to ensure all the workers got their swab test today.