No jail for returning Malaysian students from Syria: Home minister

People inspect the rubble of collapsed buildings following a reported airstrike by government forces on May 24, 2015, in the rebel-held al-Sukari neighborhood of the northern city of Aleppo. Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reassured Ma
People inspect the rubble of collapsed buildings following a reported airstrike by government forces on May 24, 2015, in the rebel-held al-Sukari neighborhood of the northern city of Aleppo. Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reassured Malaysians with student status in Syria that they could come home, and all they had to do was cooperate with police for questioning. -- PHOTO: AFP 

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian students in Syria need not fear long-term detention upon returning home if they are not involved with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reassured Malaysians with student status in Syria that they could come home, and all they had to do was cooperate with police for questioning.

"The Government, Home Ministry and the police are not that evil to detain them on the long term.

"Police will question them, but they will be free to go once proven that they have had no involvement with militant groups," he said in response to Datuk Johari Abdul (PKR-Sungai Petani) in Parliament on Monday.

Johari had raised fears over Malaysian students in Syria who stayed back to finish their courses even after the Government issued a notice calling for their return when the war began.

In response, Dr Ahmad Zahid expressed hope that the Education Ministry would allow for the students who had not yet finished their studies to complete their education at a Malaysian public university instead.

"The only condition is that the subjects they had taken have credit value, so they can do a credit transfer to finish their chosen courses here," he said.

The Dewan Rakyat (Lower House of Parliament) was informed that 63 Malaysians were currently known to be still staying in Syria.