KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 - Parents of Malaysian students in Egypt who are increasingly worried over their children's safety due to the violent revolt against the Egyptian regime, are urging the Malaysian government to immediately bring these students home.
One of the parents, Salahul Ahmad Jamal Mohd, 57, said his son who was studying in Mansoura, Egypt had told him that he had to sleep holding a knife out of fear due to the uncontrolled and worsening turbulence in that country.
"My son is forced to do this for his own safety with the increasing house break-ins while prisoners who have escaped from the prison are on rampage, as there is no action from the Egyptian authorities,” he said when contacted by Bernama, here, today.
Salahul said the government must take immediate action to save the Malaysian students whose lives were in danger due to the violent uprising.
"These students are Malaysia's future leaders. Please act fast, don't wait until it's too late. It's not a question of money but the students' safety, which must be given priority,” he said.
Since last Tuesday, street demonstrations demanding Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down have been reported in cities like Cairo, Dumyat, Suez, Tanta, Alexandria and Mansoura.
Rohana Abdul Rahman, the mother of Malaysian student Hanan Amira Hashim, 22, said she was worried that the communication line with her daughter could be disrupted after a week of turmoil. She hoped the government's operation of bringing back the students would also cover Mansoura, which is located in the Nile Delta region and is about 120km northeast of Cairo.
"Quick action is necessary as our children are now exposed to the dangers of street crime, rampant house break-ins, and rampaging by escaped prisoners,” said Rohana.
In KUALA TERENGGANU, Terengganu Foundation chief assistant director Razali Mahmud said parents in the state had also expressed concern over their children's safety in Egypt and asked that they be brought home fast.
"We have information that the situation there has reached the ”orange” (danger) level. We have also learnt that yesterday, Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay and some National Security Council officials left for Egypt to assess the situation there. I'm sure they have plans to take the students and other Malaysians out of Egypt to nearby countries like Jordan or to Saudi Arabia,” he said when contacted.
Razali said there were about 11,000 Malaysians in Egypt, including 7,000 students, of whom 247 were sponsored by the Terengganu Foundation for their studies in Islam or medicine at universities in Mansoura, Alexandria and Cairo.
In KOTA BAHARU, the Kelantan-Egypt Students' Families Alumni Association (KPKM) appealed to the government to send a special aicraft to bring home over 1,200 Kelantan students from Egypt.
Its chairman Zulkifli Mat Yusof said that based on information from the students, they were stranded or moving about aimlessly while their safety could not be guaranteed due to the increasingly tense and critical situation there.
He said a special body called Gerakan Membantu Pelajar Di Mesir (Getir) had been formed to ensure that the parents receive accurate information on their children's situation in Egypt.
"We have also set up a special fund with the money collected to be channelled to the students there and will also hold a special prayer ("solat hajat”) at Medan Ilmu on Feb 4.”
Getir operates round the clock from Level 2, Kompleks Yakin, Jalan Gajah Mati and can be contacted at 010-5731922 or 010-5731933. - BERNAMA