Miscommunication led to ground arrangements not being made for students returning to Sabah on their own, says minister

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 02 May 2020

Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob (in blue long sleeved shirt) welcoming pupils at the KKIA.

KOTA KINABALU: There were some miscommunications involved which led to issues regarding ground arrangements for overseas students who returned to Sabah on their own, says state Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob.

He said the miscommunication was between the students, their colleges and the government.

However, he said for students who come back through arrangements made by the government, all matters relating to their transport, food and quarantine accommodations were prepared.

“But for those who come back on their own accord – meaning they bought their own commercial flight tickets without informing us beforehand – we could only arrange for their ground handling after we found out they had returned, ” he said.

Yusof said this when welcoming secondary school pupils on Yayasan Sabah and Yayasan Sarawak scholarships at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) here on Saturday (May 2).

He was responding to claims that the state government was not prepared to handle the return of students starting April 29, following Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement to allow it, with conditions, on April 23.

Earlier, he said all 122 pupils who arrived on chartered flights on Saturday (May 2) would follow procedures such as going to quarantine centres and getting screened first before those deemed healthy are allowed to go home.

“Once home, these pupils must stay home and not go out, as they are under home quarantine, ” Yusof said, adding that parents bear full responsibility to make sure this is adhered to.

For students still overseas who wish to come back, he said they would liaise with the embassies and students involved.

“Those who choose to stay where they are can do so, but they must follow all lockdown rules of the respective countries, ” he said.

He said so far, only two Sabah students overseas have been diagnosed with Covid-19.

“They are in Indonesia, ” he said.

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