Air Bagan offers free flights to frightened Burmese workers in Malaysia

Following a series of attacks on Burmese migrant workers in Malaysia that have so far resulted in six deaths and 20 people injured, an spokesperson from Air Bagan said the airline will offer free flights to Burmese migrant workers in Malaysia who want to return home.

The Air Bagan spokesperson told Karen News that they would also organize domestic flights for the returning workers and outline the requirements that workers had to meet.

“Our plan is for the returnees, Burmese migrant workers and they must be Burmese nationalities – there is no other limitations other than that.”

The spokesperson also indicated that the returnees from Malaysia would have job opportunities back home with the Htoo Company, owned by Burmese business tycoon, U Tay Za. The Htoo Company operates in many sectors including, construction, hotels, tourism, banking and airlines. The spokesperson said that returning migrant workers would be priority for employment if they wanted to apply.

The International Myanmar Airline (MAI) stated that it would reduce its fees for air tickets to 50% to allow Burmese migrant workers from Malaysia to return home – it would start the price reduction from June 12.

Malaysia sources said that Burmese migrant workers in Malaysia have been constantly attacked starting in late May leaving 6 dead and 20 injured.

Saw Jack, a member of the Malaysia Karen Organization said he had not heard of the free air ticket offer.

“When I investigate the migrant workers situation, there are many agencies or brokers involved. I haven’t heard of any free services.”

According to local sources in Malaysia, workers have been terrorized and threatened and have taken refugee at a monastery that is now guarded by Malay police. U Ye Htut, a spokesperson for the Burmese President’s office said that the government had sent Deputy Foreign Minister, U Zin Yaw and Daw Win Maw Tun, the deputy minister from the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare to Malaysia to help the Burmese migrant workers.

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