Mara to sponsor students back to Egypt

More than 1,000 Kelantanese students will also be sent back to Egypt when conditions there improve, to be funded by the state government.

PUTRAJAYA: Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) will sponsor plane tickets for 700 of its 1,500 students to resume their studies in Egypt, said Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

He said the 700 were brought back to Malaysia under the Ops Piramid evacuation operation following political unrest in Egypt while the remaining did not come home as they were elsewhere or on holiday.

Speaking to reporters after a gathering with 101 chief executive officers, managing directors and financial managers of companies under the ministry’s agencies here today, he said Mara’s management was also asked to ensure the safety of students before sending them back.
“This matter will be handled by Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin (Higher Education Minister) and Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department).

“However, as a stakeholder and due to the large number (sponsored students) we need to be directly involved,” he said.

Mohd Shafie said although Mara had no problems sending the students back to Egypt but he hoped that local airline companies Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines (MAS) could provide cost-effective packages.

“If possible we would like a package to reduce costs, and I believe this is possible as we are sending off almost 700 students,” he added.

Meanwhile, in KOTA BAHARU, the Kelantan PAS government has agreed to fund the cost of sending 1,006 Kelantanese students to continue their studies in Egypt following improved conditions there.

State Education, Islamic Development and Dakwah committee chairman Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said the decision was reached during a state executive council meeting in Kuala Lumpur, last night, which was chaired by Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

“Those involved are students who were given scholarships or loans by the federal or state governments,” he said, adding that other state governments under the opposition coalition have also agreed to send back their students to Egypt when the situation permits.

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