SUNGAI BESI: Students from the lowest tier (M1) of the M40 (or middle household income group) will be entitled to full study loans under the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Besides announcing the loan increase from 75% to 100%, the Prime Minister said the government also agreed to provide PTPTN borrowers in the M40 group loans to purchase laptops in a move to protect and safeguard the welfare of students.

“Believe me when I say this, the government will always look after the interests of students.

“Many more announcements will be made to ensure it will benefit them,” he said in his address at Semarak Patriotik IPT 2022 held at Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia yesterday.

In an effort to address the rising cost of living among students, he said the Malaysian Family Cheap Sales programme would be held at every institute of higher learning (IPT) beginning next month.

Ismail Sabri told undergraduates they had an important role in nation-building.

He urged them to remain true to their identity, language and culture while taking inspiration from former student leaders who fought for the nation’s freedom.

He added that they still had a role to play in defending the nation against the current threat of modern colonialisation.

He also urged students to uphold the Malay language as a way to express their love for the country.

“I also use the Malay language when I give my speeches at international platforms,” he said.

Ismail Sabri praised filmmaker U-Wei Saari for using the Malay language at the recent Moscow International Film Festival, as well as Muar-born Sam Lim who spoke in Malay when addressing Australia’s House of Representatives following his election as Tangney MP.

The Prime Minister also reminded students that there were many other ways to express patriotism such as through education, and it was not merely confined to taking up arms.

“The most important challenge for students at this time is to continue to ensure the diverse multicultural relationship of the Malaysian Family remains close and strong,” he said.

Earlier in her speech, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad said some 6,500 university and college undergraduates, including those from private higher education institutions, participated in the event.

Some 50,000 university academic and administrative personnel later joined in a virtual recitation of the Rukun Negara.

During the event, the ministry broke the Malaysia Book of Records when 112,413 university students took part in the biggest Rukun Negara recitation.

Also present at the event were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali and Malaysian Armed Forces chief Jen Tan Sri Affendi Buang.