Rohingya education poses no threat to national sovereignty - Mohamed Khaled

20 Jun 2023 04:11pm
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin. - Photo by Bernama
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin. - Photo by Bernama

PUTRAJAYA - The issue of national sovereignty is not being raised in response to the Rohingya refugees being given the opportunity to pursue higher education in Malaysian institutes.

Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, stated that Malaysia aims to assist refugees as a civilised nation.

"In this context, Qatar has provided contributions for Rohingya refugees," he said during a press conference at the Semarak Siswa Madani Programme held in Putrajaya on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Higher Education is open to accommodating the group if they meet the necessary criteria.

"We understand that their future depends on their access to knowledge," he added.

Khaled made these remarks while addressing concerns from certain parties regarding Rohingya refugees being granted the opportunity to study at local universities.

Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM) has been selected to register Rohingya refugees once the study program is established.

The opportunity for Rohingya refugees to pursue higher education has been funded by a US$50 million donation from the Qatar Fund for Development, received before 2020.

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Khaled also clarified that the placement of Rohingya refugees as students are not limited to public higher education institutions (IPTA).

"If they wish to enroll in a university, they must meet the necessary academic qualifications. This opportunity is not exclusive to IPTAs but also includes private higher education institutions (IPTS)," he added.

On a separate matter, Khaled awarded incentives of RM2,000 to 31 IPT students who won gold medals at the 32nd SEA Games held in Cambodia last May.

In another development, Khaled stated that the government should refrain from compelling companies or employers to provide the same treatment to interns.

He emphasised that interns must understand that they are not regular employees within the company.

"As they are not employees, it would not be appropriate for them to receive the same salary or treatment," he said.