Laughter, hugs, and photograph sessions lent an air of gaiety at the Siem Reap International Airport where the 47 Malaysian detainees departed on charter flight JC International Airlines Co Ltd, and commercial flight AirAsia, with just the clothes on their back, and small plastic bags of tidbits.
The detainees in shorts, t-shirts, with some in pyjama bottoms left without their luggages and personal belongings they came with last year, having been confiscated by the police.
“Yes all our clothes were taken when we were arrested by the police but it doesn’t matter because we are going home. We can buy more clothes there,” a detainee said.
The detainees arrived at the airport in a bus before their travel documents were verified.
Their return was facilitated by Senior Minister of Special Mission Osman Hassan, with the help of Prime Minister Hun Sen and his cabinet members while in Malaysia, Sarawak government footed the bill for the charter flight.
Full story in tomorrow’s paper.