Food, accommodation costs all paid for Malaysian students in lockdown abroad

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PUTRAJAYA APRIL 3: Malaysian students who have completed their studies or still studying abroad but encountering problems to come back due to COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions are advised to stay where they are as sponsors will pay their food and accommodation during the “lockdown” period.

Minister of Defence and Senior Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said, the government has decided that education sponsors like Public Service Department (JPA), PETRONAS, Ministry of Higher Education and others will have to bear the food and accommodation costs of their students.

“This decision was made following parents’ complained that their children staying abroad could not come back and cannot afford to buy food and pay their accommodation as they have completed their studies,” he said in a press conference here today.

The issue of bringing back students from Egypt that was arranged by private agents and not through the government, Ismail explained the agent should work together with the National Security Council (NSC) and the Malaysian Immigration to avoid problems once they reached the airport.

“We appreciate others to bring students and Malaysians back but they have to cooperate with NSC and follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the government. All incoming people have to stay 14 days in the quarantine centres,” Ismail added.

Relating to the problems faced by the Bangladesh workers who have brought upthe issue of not having food and money during the enforcement of Movement Control Order (MCO), Ismail said, the foreign embassies are responsible to takecare of their country people staying in Malaysia.

Nevertheless, Ismail said, the embassy should liaise with the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) at the district levels if the workers are mostly staying outside the city.

“The government will help all Malaysians and foreigners staying here during MCO.

However, for the foreigners, the government could help in the delivery of food to the people by the authorised bodies and will facilitate whenever necessary,” he added.

On the confusion of 10 kilometre distance for people to travel from their homes during the MCO, Ismail stressed that workers have to bring along with them theletter from the company and the name list of the workers should be handed to the nearest police station.

The police he said could use their discretion if in case a person have to go to certain hospital to get medicine which no other outlet nearby could supply.

The distant should not be too far beyond 10 kilometres.Ismail added, 483 individuals were charged in the courts, 524 were detained and73 on bails for not complying MCO at roadblocks and other police checks.

According to the minister, the police have also checked on 403,336 vehicles, 25,614 spot checks and checked 4,564 premises and conducted 737 roadblocks.Ismail also reported that the government in the meeting today has decided not toallow Ramadhan market to be opened during the enforcement of MCO until April 14 but will get ready with the standard operating procedure on post MCO.–Malaysia World News

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