Balik kampung: Over 130,000 students leave varsities for Hari Raya at home

PETALING JAYA: The Hari Raya exodus begins today as more than 103,000 tertiary students make their way to their hometowns, hoping to celebrate with their families.

These students from all states except Sarawak are some of the lucky few allowed to return home as interstate travel remains out of reach for most of the population due to the various ongoing movement control orders (MCO) in place.

They will be hopping into their own vehicles, being picked up by their parents or boarding the designated buses to their hometowns.

All of them will be leaving in stages from today until May 12 to maintain order at the campuses.

The students are not allowed to take public transport except for flights, and there will be buses to ferry those taking flights to the respective airports.

Those boarding the chartered buses have signed health declaration forms and will undergo a health screening to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19.

Students who are taking their own transport or waiting for their parents have armed themselves with permission letters for inter-district and interstate travel provided by their respective varsities.

Universiti Malaya (UM) said about 2,300 of their students would be leaving their campus over the next one week.

Similarly, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) deputy vice-chancellor (student affairs and alumni) Prof Dr Arifin Abdu said the university had about 6,000 students who will be returning home with 2,268 being picked up by their parents, 1,590 returning home using their own vehicles, and 682 will be taking flights.

Meanwhile, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs) said more than 200 vehicles – buses, multipurpose vehicles and cars – will be used to send over 16,000 students from 30 UiTM campuses back to their hometowns across the country.

For the next one week, these students will be able to enjoy their time at home before they return back to campus between May 15 and 20.