We appreciate RM300 flight ticket subsidy, but it’s insufficient - Students

17 Aug 2023 07:16am
Nur Dayana (left), Tessa Humbising (centre) and Athallah Zunnurain Iqbal.
Nur Dayana (left), Tessa Humbising (centre) and Athallah Zunnurain Iqbal.

SHAH ALAM - Malaysian students express gratitude for the government's move to provide a RM300 flight ticket subsidy, stating that it helps cushion students' high cost of living.

As revealed last month, the government will subsidise Malaysian public university students by offering an RM300 airplane ticket.

Nur Dayana, 25, furthering her studies at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Puncak Alam, said that she believes this initiative will help the students financially, as flight tickets nowadays are not cheap.

“It is great that students can save money on the cost of travelling.

"However, some may wish for a similar subsidy for individuals who choose buses over airplanes, even if the subsidy's amount given are lower.

“However as students, any financial assistance by the government is greatly appreciated because it allows us to save our money for other purposes,” added Dayana.

She also said that the RM300 flight ticket subsidy is fair, but more is needed.

“This is because, ticket flights from west to east Malaysia can sometimes reach RM1000, especially during festive seasons resulting in most students unable to go back home and be with their families.

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“A one-way airplane ticket around RM700 is not worth it. However, while the subsidy is helpful, it does not provide much assistance during certain seasons,” said Dayana.

Echoing with Dayana’s statement, Tessa Humbising, 21, who is from Sabah shared the same views.

She expressed her delight as a university student that the government launched an effort to help subsidies students' travelling expenses to and from their home and university institutions.

“I am a Sabahan and am currently studying at Universiti Malaya (UM) Kuala Lumpur. Thus, flying back home hurts the wallet. I've had several holidays where I had to stay at college alone while my other friends got to go home. But, for me, home is too far away and flights are too expensive.

“With this assistance, I may finally be able to visit back home for Christmas, as airplane tickets have previously been too expensive. So, I am pleased with the subsidy,” added Tessa.

She also went on to say that she was disappointed to see that this subsidy is only offered to a few IPTA universities and none for IPTS universities, which she believes is rather unjust and prohibits many students from benefiting from it.

“Flights to and from Sabah are costly. During the holidays, one might be lucky to find a ticket for less than RM300.

“While I appreciate the subsidy given by the government, I did consider how the RM300 would most likely pay for a one-way ticket only or even half of a one-way ticket’s price. But I'm hoping to be lucky enough to acquire flight tickets that the RM300 subsidy will cover,” she added.

Athallah Zunnurain Iqbal, 24, who is from Sarawak shared his opinions on the RM300 flight ticket subsidy given by the government.

Athallah who is currently studying at Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), explained that as a student he appreciates the subsidy granted for domestic flight tickets because it alleviates financial hardship on students, particularly those from Sabah and Sarawak.

“While the amount of the subsidy was insufficient to cover all costs, it was highly beneficial in lowering the cost of the domestic ticket that the students had to purchase to return home.

“My most recent flight back to Sibu cost roughly RM200, including the add-on packages. If I include the airplane fee from Alor Setar, the total cost for a one-way transit travel (Alor Setar - Kuala Lumpur - Sibu) is roughly RM350.

“Hence, the RM300 subsidy is insufficient to cover the whole flight cost,” he added.

The subsidy is supplied in the form of a credit shell and is intended to be used for domestic flights for students to travel between their home and place of study.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said last month that the initiative is estimated to cost RM16.8 million which will benefit over 56,000 public university students throughout Malaysia.