This is to ensure that the government knows their location in case of any untoward incidents, said Deputy Education Minister II P. Kamalanathan.
"For government funded students, we have already kept their data and background for us to monitor their location and safety," he said in reply to a question by Senator Datuk Jamilah Sulaiman at the Dewan Negara today.
"However, there are still private students who did not register. If we have the details of the students, it will be the responsiblity of the embassy to identify their situation in case of any incidents happening in the countries they are staying.
"However if they fail to do so, it will be hard for us to pinpoint their location," he said.
Kamalanthan also said that for the time being, the ministry has discouraged students from pursuing their studies in countries in turmoil, including the Middle East, due to safety reasons.
"The Malaysian Embassy is cooperating with EM in foreign countries to ensure the safety of our students there," he added.
Jamilah wanted to know if the ministry has a database of Malaysian students studying abroad, especially in unstable regions.