|Egyptian demonstrators gather|
KUALA LUMPUR: Five hundred Malaysian students were to be evacuated in stages from their respective homes to the Malay House in Abasiah, Cairo.
Malaysian-Egyptian Medical Students Association president Muhammad Husaini Saleh told Bernama that the evacuation was to begin yesterday.
“The order was issued by the Malaysian Embassy in Egypt to prevent us from being victims of demonstrations,” said Muhammad Husaini, who is a medical student at the University of Cairo.
Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay, who left for Egypt with five officials today, said he had been asked to assess the situation there and ensure that Malaysians were safe and that they received the necessary aid.
He said evacuation could be by land or air, adding that 11,319 students had registered with its embassy so far, while advising all Malaysians in Egypt to register.
Kohilan said communication services in Egypt had been erratic and the embassy had difficulty talking to students and parents trying to reach it from Malaysia.
For information, call 03-888 92746, 03-888 74570 or 019- 2784 566 or the operation room in the embassy in Cairo at 00 202 3760 7375.
However, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin wants evacuation of students to begin immediately.
“We must consider that most students there do not have the financial capability to move if the situation worsened,” Khairy said.
On Twitter, Khairy called Malaysian students in Egypt to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
Meanwhile, flight services to and from the ancient city have either been disrupted or cancelled.
An Egypt Air flight MS0970, which was supposed to arrive at KL International Airport (KLIA) at 3.50pm yesterday from Cairo International Airport was cancelled.
This also resulted in flight MS917 from Kuala Lumpur being cancelled, stranding some 120 passengers bound for Cairo.
“We will only know of any further cancellation on day-to-day basis. But we will continue to open our counters to assist passengers,” an Egypt Air spokesman said.
Dewan Negara member Senator Mohamad Ezam Mohamad Noor is among hundreds of Malaysians stranded at the Cairo international airport.
In a text message to Bernama, Mohamad Ezam said the students’ spirit remained high.
He urged the Malaysian government to speed up evacuation, saying countries like the United States had sent in aircraft to fly out their citizens.
Outside the Egyptian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, protesters from various political parties and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had gathered to hand over a memorandum demanding President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation but were ignored by embassy staff.- theStarOnline