LABUAN, May 9 — The last batch of 312 students from Universiti Malaysia Sabah Labuan, International Campus (UMSKAL) was flown back to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) today after being stranded here since the start of the movement control order (MCO) on March 18.
The students were divided into two groups to board two chartered Malaysia Airlines flights at 3.20pm and 4.05pm respectively to return to their hometowns in the Peninsula.
Earlier, 65 students from three higher learning institutions in Sabah, namely, University Teknologi Mara (UiTM) with four students, Politeknik Kota Kinabalu (14), Politeknik Sandakan (four), University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) (34) and another nine students from other private institutions, have arrived in Labuan.
The returning students immediately underwent the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the Labuan Disaster Management Committee that include body temperature screening, interviews and registration carried out by Health Department officials.
The students and their parents were also briefed on the SOP requirement of the 14-day home quarantine.
The committee chairman Dr Fary Akmal Osman said there were 2,076 students from the Labuan Matriculation College still stranded in their campuses, waiting for their turn to travel back to their hometowns in Sabah and Sarawak.
“More than 1,000 matriculation students from Sabah will be travelling home from tomorrow onwards via buses and ferries, while over 700 students from Sarawak will be flying home via MASwings flights and we are trying our best to reunite them with their families before Aidilfitri,” she said to reporters at the Labuan Airport today.
She said the committee was still liaising with the Ministry of Higher Education on Labuan students who were still stranded at their respective campuses in Peninsula to return home.
“However, based on a statement issued by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, there will be a flight sending Labuan students home soon, but we have yet to know the details,” she said.
Fary said there were more than 200 students from Labuan in UMS Kota Kinabalu were still waiting for their turn to return home.
She also reminded Labuan students currently stranded in their campuses outside Labuan that even though they were allowed to make their own arrangement, they still need to go through the committee. — Bernama