Second batch of Indonesian workers leaves on special RB flight

Lyna Mohamad

The second batch of Indonesian migrant workers (PMIs) in Brunei departed for their home country on a special Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) flight on Friday, following the successful first special repatriation of 98 PMIs to Jakarta on May 1, aboard the national carrier.

The Indonesian Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Dr Sujatmiko, accompanied by staff members of the Indonesian Embassy in Brunei Darussalam, was present to see the 150 PMIs off at the Brunei International Airport.

Dr Sujatmiko said the repatriation efforts showed the Brunei Government’s concern for the plight of Indonesian migrant workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Brunei, adding that the second special flight was organised following the high number of requests from the PMIs after the first special flight.

“We hope that migrant workers will always take good care of their health and be ready to abide by the COVID-19 protocols in Indonesia, including the 14-day quarantine,” he said.

The Indonesian Embassy will facilitate the repatriation of 113 PMIs with a special flight to Surabaya today, which will bring the total number of PMIs to be successfully repatriated to Indonesia to 361.

The repatriation process was independently funded by the PMIs, whose work contracts in Brunei Darussalam had expired. The Indonesian Embassy coordinated with the relevant authorities both in Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia, for their safe arrival in Indonesia.

Prior to their departure, the Indonesian Embassy provided the passengers with gloves, face masks and laissez-passer letters, along with a Health Alert Card from the Indonesian Ministry of Health, which must be filled out by the passengers.

These special flights were organised after the temporary closure of flights to and from various countries including Indonesia (Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali) since March 23, in the efforts to stem the COVID-19 outbreak in Brunei Darussalam.

A passenger checks in at the Brunei International Airport. PHOTO: INDONESIAN EMBASSY IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM