During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 10,000 Malaysians have been stranded in Thailand due to overstaying their Malaysia-Thailand Entry Permit, becoming illegal immigrants. Although the two countries have reopened their borders, some of them are in a dilemma because they cannot pay the RM2,600 overstay fine and do not want to be blacklisted.
Now if they want to return to Malaysia, they will be fined 20,000 to 40,000 baht (about 2,600 to 5,000 ringgit) by the Thai government, and will also be blacklisted, and they will not be allowed to enter Thailand for 3 to 5 years. It is understood that most of these stranded Malaysians have businesses and families in Thailand.
Before the outbreak of the epidemic, they often went back and forth between Malaysia and Thailand. However, after the outbreak of the epidemic, my country implemented the MCO in March 2020 and closed the country gate and the border checkpoints between Malaysia and Thailand. As a result, these people were unable to leave the country after their one-year pass expired. territory.
Although the border checkpoints at Heimushan and Wangjaran on the Malaysia-Thailand border reopened on the 1st of this month, the Malaysian consulate in Songkhla was unable to assist Malaysians stranded in Thailand to renew or extend the period of border passes due to the Thai border regulations, causing them to return to their home countries. expectations were thwarted.
Although the border checkpoints at Heimu Mountain and Wangkeran on the Malaysia-Thailand border reopened on April 1 this year, the Malaysian consulate in Songkhla Province cannot assist Malaysians who are stranded in Thailand due to overdue passes to renew or extend their passes due to Thai regulations. In an interview with reporters, a spokesman for the Malaysian consulate in Songkhla, Thailand said the authorities could not apply for the extension of overdue entry passes for Malaysians. The stranded person must submit an emergency letter application to the Thai authorities to obtain permission from the Thai government to leave the country.
Trapped in Thailand
A Malaysian stranded in Thailand, Abdul Rahman (48), said he could not return to the country because the Malaysian consulate in Songkhla was unable to renew his border pass for him. He said a lot of people were disappointed by the fact that they entered Thailand legally with a border pass, but now they are illegal entrants because the pass has expired.
Abdul Rahman said that if he wants to return to Malaysia, he will be fined between 20,000 baht (RM2,600) and 40,000 baht (RM5,000). However, most people have suffered income losses due to the epidemic and are unable to pay the fines. He also said that if they are blacklisted, they will not be able to enter Thailand for a long time in the future, and they have families and businesses in Thailand.
He believes that the consulate should discuss with the Thai government to help the Thai people solve this problem so that they can return to the country.
Another trapped person, Asri (52), pointed out that most people do not want to take the risk of taking the “rat road” to return to China, because if they are arrested by the Thai authorities, the consequences will be more serious.
He urged the Malaysian government to pay attention to the matter. Face up to the mental stress faced by those who have been separated from their families for too long.