KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — Students of higher institutions of learning (IPTs) are beginning to return home in stages from today in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.

The IPTs have provided special vehicles for the purpose, with strict compliance to the stipulated standard operating procedures (SOPs)

The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) had previously announced that the students would head home either via buses arranged by the IPTs, in their own vehicles, or with their parents.

In Johor, 1,983 Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) students began their journey home at midnight last night onboard eight buses provided for the eastern and northern zones, while five more buses heading towards the central zone left in the morning.

Deputy vice-chancellor (Student Affairs) Prof Dr Shamsul Sahibuddin said 2,073 students had requested to go home, involving 1,983 students from the Johor Bahru campus and 90 students from the Kuala Lumpur campus.

He said the university would also be looking after the welfare of almost 2,000 students at both campuses who could not go back to their respective homes during the period.

“The Permaisuri of Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, who is also UTM Chancellor, has expressed concern (over the welfare of the students) at both campuses, and has requested that due attention be given to them,’’ he said.

Students queue up to board the bus at UiTM Shah Alam May 7, 2021. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Students queue up to board the bus at UiTM Shah Alam May 7, 2021. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

In Selangor, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) Prof Dr Roziah Mohd Janor, who is performing the functions of Vice-Chancellor, said the university provided over 200 vehicles comprising buses, MPVs and cars to smoothen the process of sending home students from 30 campuses involving over 700 personnel in the operation codenamed ‘Ops Pulang Aidilfitri’.

She said 400 students from the main campus in Shah Alam, Puncak Perdana, Puncak Alam, Sungai Buloh, Permatang Pauh, Bertam, Sri Iskandar, Tapah and Sungai Petani were sent home using 14 buses today, and the process would continue in stages until May 12.

“A total 16,000 students are involved in Ops Pulang Aidilfitri, and some have returned home in their own vehicles,’’ she said.

In Negri Sembilan, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) would be sending home 440 students using 18 special vehicles from tomorrow until May 11.

USIM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student and Alumni Affairs) associate professor Dr Mohd Rushdan Mohd Jailan said the first trips to Kelantan and Terengganu would begin at 8 am tomorrow, while the trips to Perlis, Kedah and Penang would begin Tuesday.

In Kedah, 1,049 students from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Sintok, began their return home to various states today, except those from Sarawak.

UUM Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Bashawir Abdul Ghani said all the students either used their own vehicles, were fetched by their parents or guardians, or boarded special rental buses co-ordinated by the university, while students from Sabah flew home.

In Perlis, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) Prof Dr Mohd Rizal Arshad said UniMAP provided 20 buses for 1,927 students in the Peninsula to return home beginning tonight.

Meanwhile, Politeknik Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin student affairs department chief Mazrul Hisyam Mat Ali said three buses were provided to students for journeys to the south, east and central zones, and one bus to send students to the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Kepala Batas.

In Perak, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs) Prof Datuk Dr Md Amin Md Taff said 101 students were sent home using the university’s own transport today.

In Kelantan, 160 students from Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), Bachok returned home onboard five buses heading to the Federal Territory, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Perak, Pahang and Terengganu.

UMK Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student and Alumni Affairs) Prof Dr Razli Che Razak said 1,282 students were involved in the process. — Bernama

Students wait to board the bus at UiTM Shah Alam May 7, 2021. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Students wait to board the bus at UiTM Shah Alam May 7, 2021. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa