Netizens rush to offer help to stranded students

Offers have come in to assist students stuck at university campuses by the sudden announcement on cancellation of in-person registration.

PETALING JAYA: Netizens have been voicing their grouses on Twitter ever since the last-minute notice by the higher education ministry postponing face-to-face registration at higher education institutions (IPTs) left many students stranded.

Under hashtags such as #TolongBantu and #MenteriKPTSilaLetakJawatan, many kind Malaysians have been offering the students free accommodation, food and transport.

One kind gentleman, Amir Abd Hadi, 29, offered to open up his humble home to students stranded in the Klang Valley.

“For now, any student stranded in the Klang Valley who needs a place to stay temporarily can contact me,” he said in a tweet.

“My house is small, but it’s alright for now before we can find a better solution.”

Speaking to FMT, he said he could not bear standing idle while students struggled to make their journey to universities, only to be left stranded when they found out registrations were suspended.

“I used to be a university student from a B40 family before. So, I understand how hard it is to survive,” he said.

“Right now, we are only able to provide pocket money for food and bus tickets for 500 students. There have been thousands of messages, and they (messages) haven’t stopped.”

He suggested that the higher education minister compensate these students for the cost they had to bear for returning to campuses and lower the tuition fees for public universities.

Amir is not the only one as many others have taken to social media offering assistance to those stuck at their campuses, far from their homes.

Another with the name “PU Rahmat Ikhsan” on Twitter, had offered an empty house in Gombak for students needing a place to stay.

“I have a house in Gombak. If you are a student needing accommodation because you are stranded, message me. We will try to help. Minister of higher education, shame on you!” he added.

The higher education ministry had urged higher education institutions to postpone all physical and face-to-face student admissions, given the increase in Covid-19 cases in the country.

In a statement, the ministry said the decision was made following concerns voiced by students, parents and the public following a spike in the number of infections, just a few days before the admission date for new university students.

The minister, Noraini Ahmad, yesterday apologised for any inconvenience caused to university students over the last-minute notice postponing their in-person registration.

She added that students who had already arrived at their respective campuses can stay there pending further instructions from their universities.

NGOs have also come forward to send stranded students home. Bernama reported today that an NGO called Kindness Malaysia was offering assistance to those stranded at their campuses or rented homes to return to their homes in the peninsula.

Its chairman, Mohd Azrul Mohd Razak, said students in IPT campuses in the northern states of the peninsula could contact Kindness Malaysia at 016-7074798 for assistance.