Migrant workers upset by border opening delay

Migrant workers upset by border opening delay

Migrant workers in Malaysia are appealing to the government to help repatriate them after the Southeast Asian country postponed the opening of its border by another two weeks.

The workers expected to return to Thailand on Tuesday when Malaysia's border was scheduled to reopen, but authorities there are now planning to do so on April 28.

The postponement affects Thai workers who have been out of jobs following the Covid-19 outbreak and relied on food provided by Malaysian authorities.

Mongkol Sinsomboon, consul-general at the Thai Consulate-General in Kota Bharu in the state of Johor, said Malaysia's postponement in reopening its border has caused difficulties among Thai workers.

"Thai workers were expecting to return on either April 15 or 16," Mr Mongkol said.

"They are disappointed by the postponement."

According to media reports, 20 Thai restaurant workers who are out of jobs in Johor have experienced difficulties.

The reports said Malaysia provided rice, instant noodles, eggs and canned sardines.

They said Malaysian officials provided meals three times per day, but they never feel full and are not allowed to leave home to buy fresh ingredients after the country imposed a 24-hour lockdown.

Lockdown violators are fined 8,000 baht.

Some went to Malaysia to study in universities, while others work for low income.

According to the Thai consulate, two were hospitalised for Covid-19 but are now in a healthy condition.

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