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PUTRAJAYA: The validity period for the 1Malaysia Book Vouchers (BB1M) has been extended to April 30, said the Higher Education Ministry.
Its minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the book vouchers, which initially expired on March 31, have been extended to accommodate the new student intakes.
"Students who have just received the vouchers for the new semester in March, may now have time to use it," he said at the Foreign Academic Chairs Appreciation Ceremony, here, yesterday.
He said bookstores would be notified through advertisements in the newspapers.
The Federal Government had, under the 2012 Budget, allocated RM260 million under the 1Malaysia Book Voucher scheme for the benefit of about 1.3 million students in the country.
Khaled said up to 30,000 students had only just received the vouchers and for now, no new vouchers would be issued.
He urged all bookshops to cooperate in allowing the students to use the vouchers despite the expiry date.
"Although the vouchers will have the earlier expiry date stamped at the back, it should still count as valid.
"There will be no extensions after this and students must use the extra time given wisely," he said.
Khaled also added that action would be taken against those caught abusing the aid.
The vouchers were first distributed in January, and can be used at participating bookshops.
Of the 5.1 million vouchers that have been distributed, only 50 per cent have been received by Bank Simpanan Nasional, which would then be redeemed for cash.
Khaled also announced the ministry's decision to establish two more foreign academic chairs in Japan and Germany.
"The purpose of the academic chairs is to create an education institution that will allow other countries to learn about our language, history, culture, politics and Malaysian economics through activities, lectures and intellectual discourse."
Several academic chairs have been established around the world, including in China, the United States, South Korea and New Zealand.