We’d rather go to Singapore embassy for help, say Malaysians in Myanmar

Elill Easwaran

Demonstrators exposed to teargas fired by the police during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, March 12. ‘It’s been more than a month since the coup and the embassy has been rather quiet,’ says one Malaysian in Myanmar. – EPA pic, March 13, 2021.

MALAYSIANS in Myanmar have expressed disappointment with the Malaysian embassy in Yangon for failing to give them any sense of security as fears increase over the situation there.

They told The Malaysian Insight that they would rather go to the Singapore embassy for help in case things got worse, with daily protests and reports of military violence.

They accused the Malaysian embassy of not issuing any official statements, or keeping them informed of its action plan for emergency evacuation from the military-ruled country.

A Malaysian who only wanted to be known as Surya said that right now, he would rather go to the Singapore embassy, which was more than willing to help.

“I have a few good friends who are locals and also Malaysians who work in the embassy here, and they are the ones who share with me the updates on what is going on. There’s never an official statement from our embassy.

“Even for the relief flights that take place every three days, we do not get direct information. There are also two price tiers, where some get cheaper rates compared to the rest,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

Another Malaysian, who only wanted to be known as Mawi, hoped the Malaysian embassy would get in touch with its citizens in Myanmar to give them assurance and advice on the present situation.

“More importantly, they should give us the procedures and action plan for emergency evacuation.

“It’s been more than a month since the military coup and the embassy has been rather quiet, with no announcements of any action or contingency plans should there be a widespread life-threatening situation,” he said.

Another Malaysian, Chan, said that as of now, the Malaysian embassy had only asked them to fill up details in a Google sheet via social media page.

“The embassy should give us a sense of security and assurance as well. It should also work with relevant authorities to arrange our return flights back home. They aren’t doing these.

“This is why I would not go to the Malaysian embassy for help in case things get worse,” he said.

Fellow Malaysian Rahman said he hoped the embassy would send direct email and phone calls/WhatsApp to them on the standard operating procedure (SOP) during emergency.

He also said he would head straight to the airport or hide in his friend’s house rather than go to the Malaysian embassy when the need arises.

None of them wanted to reveal their full identities or their nature of business or work in Myanmar for fear of reprisal from the Malaysian embassy officials.

‘Crimes against humanity’

A source said the Foreign Affairs Ministry was closely monitoring the situation and would update the consular advisory accordingly.

The current advisory on Facebook urged Malaysians in Myanmar to exercise caution, be vigilant and prioritise personal safety at all times.

There are more than 600 Malaysians currently registered with the embassy in Myanmar.

AFP, meanwhile, reported yesterday that Britain had advised its citizens to flee Myanmar, as a UN expert warned the junta is likely committing “crimes against humanity” in its attempt to stay in power.

It was reported that the military authorities are cracking down with increasing severity on daily protests against the February 1 coup, with at least 70 people killed, according to the UN’s top rights expert on the country.

The turmoil prompted Britain, the country’s former colonial ruler, to urge its citizens to get out if they could, warning that “political tension and unrest are widespread since the military takeover and levels of violence are rising”.

At least 38 people were killed in anti-coup protests in Myanmar on Wednesday in the bloodiest crackdown yet on peaceful demonstrations against a military coup.

Security forces began the violent crackdown on Saturday, after weeks of largely peaceful protests against the February 1 military takeover.

Much of the country has been in uproar since troops deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, with large street demonstrations in both urban centres and isolated villages.

Security forces have responded with increasing force, deploying troops against peaceful rallies and firing tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets. – March 13, 2021.

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  • When the quality of our PTD officers themselves is questionable, this kind of tidak apa response is the best our citizens can expect. Vote wisely in future. Don't just confine yourselves to issues of race and religion but go beyond that to ensure first class quality among our leaders who in turn, will over time, hire the brightest to thecivil service.

    Posted 3 years ago by Simple Sulaiman · Reply

  • It just goes to show what kind of government we have.

    Posted 3 years ago by Elyse Gim · Reply

  • The deficiency of the officers has nothing to do with the incapability of the government. These officers are in the service well before the BN government's topple in 2018.It's all self motivation.

    Posted 3 years ago by SYED ABDULLAH BIN MOHAMED · Reply

  • Whats new? These consulates and embassies are there to cater for local politicians when they do their holiday visits. As for the Rakyat, just adhere to the SOP, which means just wait and wait!

    Posted 3 years ago by Edwin N · Reply

  • I stay in Myanmar and the quality of service I have gotten from the Embassy has been excellent. In addition, always feel updated and supported. There are 3 relief flights per week to Kuala Lumpur which I think is one of the highest. Thank you to the Ambassador and the very professional staff.

    Posted 3 years ago by D G · Reply

    • Interesting.

      Posted 3 years ago by Jason Varughese · Reply

  • now a day, reporter report only based on a few people's comments? You shall call to Malaysia embassy to verify before come out the publish.
    I'm Malaysian and I working in Yangon, Malaysia Embassy in Yangon has helped me a lot and they are doing a great job!
    Do not use your limited information and pen to erase other people's hard work, because this is an irresponsible action.

    Posted 3 years ago by John Lim · Reply

    • I agree with John writing an article like this without a broader base. The Malaysian Embassy has gone out of their way to assist many Malaysians and Malaysian businesses during this trying time, including us. During early Feb when this crisis began, we needed to get visas for our team but the Myanmar Embassy in KL was closed.. The embassy went out of their way to secure us these visas.

      Posted 3 years ago by Kenneth Tan · Reply

  • Im one of the Malaysian working here since year 2018. So far i do keep in touch with Malaysian Embassy in Myanmar to get latest updates. I do see some Relieve flights information in official FB page. They are very helpful and always give a hand when we need assist. Some of my Singapore colleagues also shared me some updates whenever they received from Malaysian Embassy, since they do keep in touch with our Malaysian Embassy as well. The Ambassador & the staff's keep monitoring the situation and providing us correct information at correct timing without delay.

    Posted 3 years ago by SURYA PARKAS NOKARAJU · Reply

  • I am a Malaysian staying in Yangon. My personal experiences with Malaysian Embassy in Yangon had been very positive. Responses from Embassy staffs had been very professional and prompt and they are very supportive. Engagement come from both sides.

    Posted 3 years ago by Gilbert Lee · Reply

  • Hi there, as a Malaysian living here, I must say that the embassy staffs has been actually doing a good job on the ground. I know and say from experience that they are ready to lend a helping hand at any given time. Its equally not correct to say one is better than the other. Malaysians here have many means and way to communicate with each other through portals with the embassy and its related organisations. As Malaysians, we have more options to return home at any time. 3 flights a week. For ground information, just read the local news and use your healthy imagination and common sense to decide your best move. You don't need the embassy to make the decision for you. We are our own means to an end.

    Posted 3 years ago by Chandra Mohan · Reply

  • I completely disagree. In fact, its the other way around! Singaporeans are seeking assistance and advice from The Malaysian Embassy. The Ambassador and his team has been on top of current issues offering solutions.

    Posted 3 years ago by P Nandwani · Reply

  • Nonsense article, i can only imagine the writer got the feedback from Malayisan with Singapore PR.Doesnt make sense for any sane Malaysian to go to SG embassy for help. Moreover the Malaysian Embassy is one of the most active embassy in Myanmar. Working tirelessly during Covid times and now not only providing assistance for stranded Malaysian returning but to facilitate re-entry including visa approval and special relief flight for businessmen and family members reuniting with their love ones in Myanmar. This articles truly done with some minorities and doesnt represent the majority of Malaysian in Myanmar! I feel sad for the dedicated staff of the embassy and HE Ambassador of Malaysia to Myanmar

    Posted 3 years ago by C Jong · Reply

  • I think its totally irresponsible for Malaysians to condemn our embassy and foreign mission in Myanmar without checking facts first. With more than 600 Malaysians registered with the embassy, do not expect to be spoonfed information. Updates on the security situation are available on many sites and social media and you just need to access them and make your own learned decision to stay or leave. My company has had years of business in Myanmar and currently the largest contractor to Petronas Carigali Myanmar Limited. Our ambassador is a very approachable envoy and has helped us in many instances , including repatriating deceased personnel (medical issues). The embassy compound is quite large and able to accommodate large numbers of Malaysians if need be. Contact the ambassador directly ; you will get personal attention and any updates that you need

    Posted 3 years ago by Dato Mazlin Junid · Reply

  • It's not factual to state that the Malaysian Embassy cannot be relied upon in a crisis. I am closely associated with many Malaysians in Myanmar. It's rather unfair to make this comment. Malaysian Embassy has not only been helping Malaysians but also others in the capacity as an Asean member to others from Asean nations. I live and work here and I know I can rely on the embassy.

    Posted 3 years ago by Sridhar Raman · Reply

  • It's not factual to state that the Malaysian Embassy cannot be relied upon in a crisis. I am closely associated with many Malaysians in Myanmar. It's rather unfair to make this comment. Malaysian Embassy has not only been helping Malaysians but also others in the capacity as an Asean member to others from Asean nations. I live and work here and I know I can rely on the embassy.

    Posted 3 years ago by Sridhar Raman · Reply

  • Malaysia Embassy in Yangon has been very responsive and helpful. I had my passport renewed before my work permit expired during Covid times, with the help of Mr Faizal whom has been very responsive to my questions and supportive.
    I also could see the hard work and excellent efforts from Embassy staff, MMBC ECs and members in arranging special flights bringing back Malaysian and Myanmar people back to Yangon.
    Hope those person mentioned in the article, quickly contact Embassy or MMBC to inform your current situation, they are more than willing to help.

    Posted 3 years ago by Joe Yew · Reply

  • I have been staying at Myanmar for more than 3 years and I feel Malaysia Embassy have help a lot of people and ambassador personally promote Malaysian product to Myanmar people. He is very supportive and wants to do a lot for the Malaysian living here. This is a nonsense article and never border to ask the balance Malaysian living here! Ask 3 Malaysian to responds only and what about the balance of 597 Malaysian? I am very confident the balance will say good things about Malaysia embassy. Singaporean are asking Malaysia Embassy for help! We have the most flights out of Myanmar! If you are so scare please do leave the country now.

    Posted 3 years ago by Simon Chew · Reply

  • Malaysian living in Myanmar and came back here during Covid19 Pandemic with the help of Malaysia Myanmar Business Chamber and Embassy of Malaysia in Yangon, which enabled me to resume business activities. Embassy staffs have been doing an excellent job with leadership of Ambassador.

    These are rough figure of Malaysian returning to Malaysia from Yangon since Apr 2020

    Total Malaysians returned home since *09 Apr 2020 until 11 Mar 2021*
    Approx. 450 Malaysian citizens some multiple in and out

    Approx. 100 Malaysians who were stranded in Tachilek/other cities in Myanmar safely back in Malaysia with the help of Malaysia Embassy and Malaysia Myanmar Business chamber.

    There are 3 weekly flight to KUL, and those felt unsafe should just take the relief flight back as there are no restriction stopping anyone to travel back to Malaysia. Use common sense to decide your best move and not relying on Embassy to help with "Evacuation" plan because there's no need for "Evacuation" at this time, proceed to buy ticket and get on the flight.

    Do not write off hardwork by Embassy of Malaysia team in Yangon by drawing such conclusion and headline before first verify facts with other Malaysian who work here in Yangon.

    Posted 3 years ago by David Wai · Reply

  • Dear My Fellow Malaysian Friends,

    An excellent day to all,I wish to start my thoughts with a famous Pepatah Melayu HUJAN EMAS DI NEGERI ORANG HUJAN BATU DI NEGERI SENDIRIIn Negeri Hujan Batu is a HOME being a Malaysian we are able to enter with ease and the Embassy staff will go all out to assist us. While in Negeri Hujan Emas is a Fort Knox and their own citizens will not be able to enter without a pre-set appointment.

    During Covid 19 the pandemic Embassy of Hujan Batu went all out to bring back many of its citizens back to Yangon. If some claim that Negeri Hujan Emas doing a super job then why the Citizen of Negeri Hujan Emas seek help from Negeri Hujan Batu. Kudos to the Embassy staff of Hujan Batu for assisting the citizens of Hujan Emas back to Yangon. Not one, Not two but Abundance of them.

    Advice to my fellow friends if you feel not comfortable with the current situation there are three flights a week just book a flight and return and once things are back to normal then come back.

    To the Embassy staff of Hujan Batu stay strong and carry on doing your routine and remember this, Divine is watching you and just ignores negative statements made in certain quarters.

    S P Siva

    Posted 3 years ago by S P Sivalinggam Palanivelo · Reply

  • Singapore Embassy want to help you without any reason?

    Posted 3 years ago by Hassan Kassim · Reply