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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Selangor offers to pay students’ return fares to Egypt

By Boo Su-Lyn

February 16, 2011

Khalid said it is the responsibility of the federal government to sponsor the students’ return journeys to Egypt.
Selangor has offered to help the federal government bear the cost of sending Malaysian students back to crisis-hit Egypt, said state Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim today.

Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay, however, reportedly said on Monday that Malaysian students returning to Egypt will have to pay their own way after the government mounted flights to bring them home during protests that ousted long-serving president Hosni Mubarak over the past three weeks.

“If there is a need to share costs, the state government is ready to discuss with the federal government,” Khalid told reporters today.

Khalid also urged the federal government to sponsor the students’ return journeys to the Arab nation.

“It is the responsibility of the federal government to do that,” said Khalid.

“But if the federal government feels it needs help from the state government to defray finances, we can (help),” he added.

Kohilan has said it was usual for students to bear the cost of returning to their country of study.

It was reported that there are some 11,000 Malaysian students in Egyptian universities. More than 8,000 were reportedly brought home during ‘Ops Piramid’ from February 3-11 during the Egyptian uprising against Mubarak.

Mubarak stepped down on February 11 after 18 days of mass protests and handed the country’s administration over to the army, ending three decades of authoritarian rule.

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