A Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) student, Volibia Kasten Bilim, 23, who is from Miri, Sarawak, said this is to facilitate the application for the subsidy, which is of great benefit, especially for students from Sabah and Sarawak.
The initiative can also reduce the burden of students who do not have a fixed income to buy expensive airline tickets, said Volibia who is pursuing a Bachelor of Education (History).
“Students also have many other commitments, so we Sarawakians at UPSI need to prioritise more important expenses, and some of us have not returned to Sarawak for two years.
“Those who cannot return usually work during the semester break and these students miss their families. If there is a ticket purchase subsidy then it will help us a lot,” she told Bernama yesterday.
On Wednesday, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said that the government has introduced a subsidy initiative for public university students, worth RM300, for the purchase of flight tickets for domestic routes between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan, which will begin on Aug 15.
He said this initiative would be implemented through a credit shell, where participating airlines will issue a digital voucher, worth RM300, to each eligible student to redeem for purchasing flight tickets for domestic routes.
The initiative will benefit over 56,000 public university students nationwide, with the overall cost estimated to be RM16.8 million.
The vouchers can only be used to purchase Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Batik Air, Firefly and MYAirline flight tickets, and the deadline to redeem the vouchers for the purchase of flight tickets is Oct 31.
Meanwhile, the Universiti Islam Selangor (UIS) Student Representative Council’s academic and intellectual exco, Mohd Nur Azuwan Rali, 25, said that in addition to expediting the aid application process, the government should examine the need to extend the subsidy to students studying at private institutions of higher learning.
He said that such subsidy assistance is a proactive step in easing the burden of students at local institutions of higher learning as a whole, especially those from the B40 group, who faced financial constraints to travel to and from their respective home states.
“It is also hoped that the government can provide low rental accommodation for students to stay ‘temporarily’ before returning to their hometowns, for students from Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula,” said the student, who is majoring in Syariah with Law.
To apply for the flight ticket subsidy, public university students need to check their eligibility status via the website of the Ministry of Transport, which will be announced in due course.