By John Isaac
THE first batch of Sarawak students stranded at higher education institutions in Peninsular Malaysia during the the Movement Control Order (MCO) returned home this morning.
According to the official Facebook page of Senior Minister (Infrastructure Cluster) Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, the first group comprises 287 students from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris in Tanjung Malim, Perak.
The students left for Kuching from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in a Malaysia Airlines flight at 10.30am.
“A total 16 busses were used to transport the students from UPSI to KLIA to ensure the exercise complies with social distancing.
“The buses left the university for the airport at 3am,” said Fadillah, who is also the Works Minister and Sarawak Volunteers advisor.
According to the New Straits Times, Fadillah, together with Higher Education Minister Dr Noraini Ahmad were present at KLIA this morning to ensure the exercise proceeded accordingly.
In the same posting, Fadillah, who is also the Petra Jaya member of Parliament, thanked Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg, Malaysia Airlines Berhad, Sarawak volunteers and other parties which helped facilitate the movement among Sarawakian students returning to their home state.
It was previously reported that there are 7,000 students from Sarawak in Peninsular Malaysia who were stranded since the MCO came into force on March 18.
They will be flown home in stages beginning today. The students would be divided into four zones, according to their locations.
Those in Kelantan and Terengganu will be flown home from the Sultan Mahmud Airport in Kuala Terengganu.
Students at campuses in the northern and southern zones will depart from the Penang International Airport and Senai International Airport respectively.
Meanwhile, those at campuses in the central zone including Pahang will fly home from KLIA.
The students will undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.