SEPANG: A group of Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) students is determined to return to Pekalongan in Central Java acquire dye technology despite losing their equipment worth RM2,000 and their final year project working papers in a flood there recently.
Mohd Aeree Abu Bakar, 24, a final year student of the UMK Creative and Heritage Technology Faculty who was met upon his return at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) early this morning said he and 11 other coursemates could only save several pieces of clothes, passports, mobile phones and laptops in a massive flood which inundated their hostels at 10 pm on Jan 27.
“In less than an hour, flood water rose from our ankles to the waist. Our personal items including working papers for the final semester were destroyed and we are really disappointed and upset,” he said.
The arrival of Mohd Aeree and 11 other friends was received by Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and UMK deputy vice-chancellor (Alumni and Student Affairs), Prof Dr Zaliman Sauli at the arrival hall in klia2 today.
He added that all of them waded in waist-deep water to seek refuge at a madrasah before being contacted by a UMK lecturer at 5am on Jan 28 to arrange their 350-km journey to Jakarta by van which took eight hours.
“We stayed in Malaysia Hall, Jakarta for two days and were given food and clothes by Malaysian Embassy officers as well as various other Malaysian agencies there,” he added.
Mohd Aeree said the group comprising 10 female students and two male 2 students were in Pekalongan since September last year to undergo training in dye technology at Zahir Batik for two semesters.
He said after completing the first semester, all of them returned to Malaysia last month before returning to Pekalongan on Jan 26 to start their second semester until May.
Mohd Aeree said they choose to be trained in Pekalongan after visiting the city in March last year as it is recognised as the World’s City of Batik by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco)
He said he has not set the date to return to Pekalongan to complete the semester.
Meanwhile, Saifuddin when asked, said apart from the 12 UMK students, there were no other Malaysians involved in flood tragedy in Pekalongan. — Bernama