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PM: Govt has contingency plans to evacuate M’sian students in Egypt

By Tuesday February 1st, 2011 No Comments

Evacuating students to nearby countries and calling in M’sian navy ships in Gulf of Aden are options

LABIS: The evacuation of 10,000 Malaysian students in Egypt cannot be done in haste but the Goverment has contingency plans if the situation deteriorates further, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Tuesday.

He said this included evacuating the students to nearby countries and using Malaysian navy vessel in the Gulf of Aden to help in the event of an evacuation.

Najib added that it was not cost effective to deploy military planes to bring back the students due to the limited capacity and the one-and-a-half days travelling time.

The Prime Minister was speaking to reporters after visiting flood-hit victims in Labis and Segamat.

“We are also not sure if there is enough ground crew at the airports in Egypt,” he said, referring to reports that Cairo’s international airport was a scene of chaos and confusion as thousands of foreigners sought to flee the restive country.

Check-in counters were reportedly poorly staffed because employees were unable to get to work due to a 3pm-8am curfew as well as traffic breakdowns across the Egyptian capital.

Assuring parents of their children’s safety, Najib said the Government would come up with a practical method to evacuate the students if the need arose.

He said a team led by deputy foreign minister A. Kohilan Pillay was assessing the situation in the country.

Kohilan and five officials left for Egypt to assess the situation and ensured that Malaysians were safe and receiving the necessary aid.

So far, 11,319 students have registered with the Malaysian embassy.

Source : The Star

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