Expat parents in Malaysia separated from their children during MCO

Many expatriates have been reportedly stranded abroad and unable to return to their homes in Malaysia.
PHOTO: Reuters

A Bangladeshi expatriate homemaker in Malaysia is worried sick for her son who is stranded abroad and unable to come home due to the movement control order (MCO).

"My son is still quite young and in this global pandemic situation, naturally he is also getting emotionally upset not being able to come home and living alone so far away from family," says the woman who only wishes to be known as Maznah.

"Our family is feeling insecure and helpless. We are very worried and want him to come home. But due to the MCO, he can't, " says the concerned mother.

According to Maznah, her son has a valid dependent pass under her husband's employment pass in Malaysia. The boy was attending university in the United States when the MCO, which started on March 18, was implemented here.

The MCO is currently in its third phase following two extensions by the government. It is expected to end on April 28.

During this period, those on temporary work visas, student visas, employment passes and long-term social visit passes are allowed to leave Malaysia. However, they will not be allowed to return during the MCO.

Many expatriates have been reportedly stranded abroad and unable to return to their homes in Malaysia.

"His university is strongly encouraging students to go back to their respective countries. His dormitory is going to close by end of this month. Once the dorm is closed, where will he stay and what will he eat?

"The situation in the US is getting from bad to worse. My son is still in very good health. But God forbid, if he falls sick for any reason, what will happen?" says Maznah, adding that her son will abide by all necessary health measures upon his return.

Many other concerned mothers in the expat community here have also taken to social media to seek advice on getting their children abroad home safely.

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Meanwhile, another expat mother who only wishes to be known as Lily, is stranded abroad with her young child due to the MCO.

Lily was seeking medical treatment in Pakistan with her son when the MCO came into place. She hasn't been able to return home to her family since then.

"My son is only two years old. My house, husband, financial access and everything is in Malaysia," she laments.

Lily hopes that the relevant authorities will grant her access to return to Malaysia.

"It's a very simple thing to understand: Letting us come back would mean the same thing as letting any other citizen come back.

"We are willing to pay for our tests or quarantine, " she says, adding that she has a doctor's appointment that is due in Malaysia.

"We are just clueless in terms of how to manage our lives now, " Lily says.

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