KUALA LUMPUR – Many tertiary education students, both in private and public institutions, will be sporting huge smiles today as they begin their journey back to their hometowns.
The Muslim students will already be thinking of the ‘buka puasa’ (break-of-fast) meal that they will very soon be enjoying with their families as well as being able to fast together in the coming days.
The decision to allow these students who were stranded on campus following the imposition of the Movement Control Order (MCO) to travel home was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Thursday following the drop in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
However, in a statement issued yesterday, Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad said only students in green zones are allowed to return to their homes which are also in green zones.
Meanwhile, close collaboration between various agencies and the Ministry has provided transport services which will take fetch these students from the assigned departure centres in their institutions.
According to Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, this decision will affect an estimated 100,000 students.
However, those people (non-students) who are stuck in their hometowns or elsewhere and want to return home will have to continue being patient.
Ismail Sabri said the dates they are allowed to travel back does not begin on May 1.
He said there was some confusion about the travel dates when the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) issued a statement that May 1 to 3 were the permitted dates.
He said the public has until May 1 to register through an appointment at the police station, and registration could also be done through the Gerak Malaysia application
So far, 300,000 have registered through the application, including 100,000 who applied to get the movement permit to travel because they were stranded in their hometowns and could not return home due to the imposition of the MCO.
Ismail Sabri said once all the data and information have been obtained from the public’s applications, the National Security Council, Health Ministry, and PDRM will discuss the standard operating procedure, including the travel dates.
As of noon yesterday, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Malaysia was 5,780, with 98 deaths.
The cumulative number of recovered and discharged cases in Malaysia is 3,862, which is 66.8 per cent of the total number of cases.