PUTRAJAYA: About 1.5 million students in higher learning institutions (IPT) will be able to enjoy discounted rates of up to 60 per cent from 51 merchants nationwide with the launch of the 1Malaysia Undergraduate Discount Card (Kad Diskaun Siswa 1 Malaysia or KDS1M), yesterday.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who officiated at the launch of the card at the International Convention Centre, said students can enjoy discounts on clothing, stationery, books, food, ICT products, healthcare as well as hotel accommodations.
"The discount card further signifies the government's commitment to assist the living cost burden of IPT students. This card is given free of charge to all students including those studying in both public and private institutions," he said.
"The card will be enforced beginning August and can be used throughout the students' education. This was requested by the students themselves last November during the National Student Consultative Council meeting, and the government delivered on their request."
Muhyiddin coined the card as a win-win venture between the government and participating merchants as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR), and called for more merchants to come forward and support the programme.
The card is a flash card that does not offer any bonus points.
To claim the discounts, students must show the KDS1M card with their student identification card or identity card at the participating merchants upon their purchase.
Student details will be given to the Domestic Trade, Co-operative and Consumerism Ministry by their respective IPTs and the information will be forwarded to Bank Rakyat, which will then print the card and send it straight to the IPTs.
Currently, Bank Rakyat will prioritise final year students so they get to enjoy the benefits before graduating.
At the National Student Consultative Council meeting earlier, Muhyiddin advised student leaders to not get themselves involved in illegal activities that can cause chaos in the nation.
"There is no country in the world that can achieve successful development without peace and harmony. A nation's success relies on such stability.
"Undergraduates, who are the heirs to our nation, must always be ready to safeguard the peace and harmony that we now enjoy. Please stay away and don't get involved in illegal activities which are detrimental to the nation as a whole.
"The government is always willing to listen to the rakyat's views," said Muhyiddin.