Friday, 5 July 2013

Stay cautious, #Malaysian students in Egypt told

The Malaysian Embassy in Cairo has advised Malaysian students to be cautious when posting their views on the social network on the situation in Egypt even as the Government prepares plans for evacuation.

Malaysian Embassy in Egypt charge d’affaires Shaiful Anuar Mohammad said there were claims that some groups of international students have been declaring their support for President Mohammed Morsi, who was removed by Egypt’s army, while others were against him.

“These students may be targeted by certain groups. We want to prevent our students from being targeted,” he said when contacted yesterday.

He said there are about 9,100 Malaysians, most of them students, in Egypt.

“So far, we have not received any negative reports from them,” he said.

Shaiful said he had advised students to remain indoors and to postpone any travel within Egypt.

“We have also advised the students to be in constant communication with their families at home to give a true picture of the current situation here (in Egypt),” he said.

In a statement, The Malaysian Embassy in Cairo said it had opened an operations room following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said that all Malaysians in Egypt were reported to be safe.

“Malaysians have been advised to avoid conflict-ridden areas namely Tahrir Square, Rabaa Square in Nasr City and Al-Nahda Square in front of the main campus of Cairo University.

“Those residing in Egypt are also advised to follow the security guidelines issued by the embassy and the local authorities, and to restrict their movements,” he said, urging them to stay in close contact with the embassy.

Anifah added that the Foreign Ministry together with the embassy in Cairo were monitoring developments very closely.

“Embassy officials have been working round the clock to ensure that Malaysians in Egypt are safe,” he said.

In Nilai, Negri Sembilan, Armed Forces chief Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said that an evacuation plan had been drafted for Malaysians in Egypt if the situation in that country worsened.

All Malaysians are advised to keep in touch with the embassy, which can be contacted at (202) 37610013/19/68/73 or Embassy of Malaysia Operations Room at 00-2-02-37610270 or 02-37610013/02-37610068 ext 141.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Cabinet is expected to discuss proposals to ensure the safety of Malaysians in Egypt.

Senior officials from the Education Ministry, Wisma Putra, National Security Council and police met on Wednesday to discuss coordination for a safety plan and came out with three proposals.

A senior official said that one option was to encourage students to return home while another was to evacuate them based on the model of “Ops Piramid” which was used when Egypt was in crisis in 2011.

“The third option was for the Public Service Department and Mara to bring their sponsored students back,” the offcial said.

“We have submitted the proposals for the Cabinet to discuss.”


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