Like so many other migrants around the world, 38-year-old Cambodian construction worker Tuloh Saith rushed to return home as soon as possible once it became clear the Covid-19 crisis would not just be a passing nuisance.
But unlike so many others, he was banned by his own government from flying home. Alongside 150 other Cambodians in Malaysia, Saith was left stranded amid the looming global health and economic crisis after Prime Minister Hun Sen banned them from boarding a flight in Kuala Lumpur due to fears of the virus.
“I slept two nights at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, to wait for approval to depart from K.L. to Cambodia,” Saith said from Perak, which lies on the Malayan Peninsula about four hours from both the Thai border and Kuala Lumpur.