Ministry to stop issuing visas, social visit passes to foreign students


JOHOR BARU: The Higher Education Ministry (HEM) will stop issuing visas on arrival and social visit passes to foreign students to check the abuse of passes.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the visas would only be issued to foreign students after they received an offer from public institutions of higher learning (IPT) or private IPT under the ministry's supervision.

According to him, discussion with the Immigration Department on the issue had been carried out two months ago.

"Most of the foreign students that are involved in criminal activities and drug smuggling were pursuing temporary programmes and language classs in the IPT which are not under the ministry's supervision," he said.

He said this to reporters after launching the third series of the Knowledge-Friendly Programme organised by the Health Faculty of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in Taman Cendana, Pasir Gudang, near here.

Khaled was commenting on a call by Criminology expert, Datuk Akhbar Satar to review the visa and student pass visit policy as an effort to prevent the country from becoming an international drug hub.

He said, based on the police records, there were not many students under the ministry supervision who were involved in such activities.

"IPTA and IPTS managements should inform the ministry if there are foreign students who neglect their lessons. The ministry will investigate whether they are involved in negative activities," he said. -- BERNAMA

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