Wisma Putra unable to verify if students stranded in Ukraine are Malaysians

PETALING JAYA: Wisma Putra is unable to verify if a group of students who are stranded in war-ravaged Ukraine as seen in a viral video are Malaysians, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah.

The Foreign Minister said there had been no such confirmation of nor any proof that they are Malaysians.

“I urge any Malaysians in Ukraine who have yet to register themselves with the Malaysian embassy to do so at the nearest embassy in Warsaw, Poland,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (March 8).

M. Kulasegaran (PH-Ipoh Barat) had asked if the government knew of any Malaysians still stranded in Ukraine and what assistance was being provided to them.

Saifuddin said that to his knowledge, only four Malaysians registered with the Malaysian embassy are still in Ukraine.

“Some of them are also married to locals there,” he said, adding that the Ministry, through the cooperation of Malaysian representatives in countries near Ukraine, are in regular contact with them.

Saifuddin also said the embassy was ready to help Malaysians who want to leave Ukraine,

“Assistance that will be given includes simplification of entry at borders, documentation processes such as an Emergency Certificates, as well as to ensure that their welfare is well taken care of,” he said.

He pointed out that the Ministry always reminds Malaysians overseas to register with embassies but many only do so when there is a disaster.

Despite this, he said embassies still make an effort to contact them either through phone, text message, or through friends.

Saifuddin also clarified that the evacuation of Malaysians from Ukraine was not done hurriedly, noting that they had the relevant information.

With that information in hand, he said, they made the decision to leave on Feb 24.

“Generally, embassy officials are always the last people to leave. This is the sacrifice that our embassy makes. At the same time, we will bring along any other Malaysians still in conflict zones,” he said.

He said evacuation of Malaysian embassies had been carried out in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, among others.

When asked by Wong Chen (PH – Subang) on what manner of sanctions the country was willing to place, Saifuddin said that principally Malaysia does not believe in unilateral sanctions.