Helicopter tragedy: MOHE to provide assistance, fees exemption - Zambry [NSTTV]

LUMUT: The Higher Education Ministry (MOHE), via the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), will provide RM1,000 to each of the 21 children affected by the two-helicopter crash that tragically claimed the lives of 10 Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) personnel at the Lumut Base.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said any of the children studying at a university will be exempted from paying fees until the completion of their studies.

When quoted by Bernama, he said the decision was made to alleviate the financial burden on the families of these "fallen heroes", which was approved by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"So far, our data shows that there are 21 children who are still in school and they have been identified to receive free National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN) accounts.

"We will update the actual number of affected children," he told reporters after visiting the family of Petty Officer Noor Shahrizan Mohd Termizi at Taman Bunga Tanjung, Batu 10 Lekir, last night.

"I believe that the Defence Ministry fence may have plans for the children, so having an SSPN account will facilitate contributions, including from other agencies.

"As for the exemption of university tuition fees, currently, only one victim's child ( Warrant Officer II Mohd Shahrizan Mohd Termizi), Nurul Shahfiqah Mohd. Shahrizan, 21, is studying at Universiti Malaysia Kelantan.

"The ministry is also channeling contributions in the form of money to the 10 families. The MOHE is prepared to channel whatever needs or support to the next of kin especially in terms of highe education."

A statement from the ministry today said the move was made possible via collaboration with its agencies Yayasan Perkasa Siswa (YPS), PTPTN, Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS), Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) dan Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Holdings.

"The Higher Education Ministry expresses its sadness and conveys its condolences to the families of the 10 RMN officers and personnel folliowing the two helicopter crash in Lumut, Perak on Monday."

On a separate issue, Zambry said the MOHE acknowledges and takes seriously the concerns stemming from the actions of a foreign lecturer who made statements considered controversial and disrespectful to public sentiments, as circulated on social media.

"As a consequence, I've instructed the immediate cancellation of any programmes and activities the lecturer was scheduled to attend. Furthermore, I've asked Universiti Malaya to thoroughly investigate the matter and promptly provide further details," he said.

He advised all agencies and institutions under the MOHE to be vigilant, and cautious, and conduct thorough background checks before inviting any individuals or parties to events and programmes.

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