180 Malaysian students still in China, says Teo Nie Ching

Lee Chi Leong Ravin Palanisamy

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching says the Malaysian students still in China have reported they are in good health. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, February 4, 2020.

THERE are still nearly 180 Malaysian students left in China, after Beijing suspended university classes amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said.

The group is the remainder of the more than 3,800 Malaysian students studying in China, most of whom returned before the Chinese New Year holiday.

The Education Department at the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing has contacted these students through WeChat and they have responded saying that they are in good health, Teo also told The Malaysian Insight.

“According to today’s information, there are nearly 180 Malaysian students still in China during this semester break as the country has suspended university classes indefinitely.

“We will follow the arrangement made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” she said, referring to the possibility of repatriating the remaining students.

Teo added that only one Malaysian student had chosen to remain in Wuhan for personal reasons.

The city is the epicentre of the virus outbreak, which was first reported in mid to late December last year.

Teo said the number of Malaysian students still in China is based on those that registered with the Malaysian government.

The Education Ministry has no knowledge of Malaysian students who have gone to study there without informing the authorities, she added.

Early this morning, a flight chartered to evacuate Malaysians from Wuhan arrived in Malaysia with 106 people on board.

They included non-citizen spouses of Malaysians and their children, 12 crew members, eight humanitarian assistance and disaster relief officials, and six officers from the Malaysian embassy in Beijing.

Malaysian Ambassador to China Nushirwan Zainal Abidin earlier today said there were 34 Malaysians who did not board the flight, some because of logistical problems while others had opted to stay put. – February 4, 2020.

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