UPM more famous as Mat Rempit University than Research University

It is an academic disgrace that Universiti Putra Malaysia is more famous as a Mat Rempit University than as a Research University, a status it was elevated only last month together with three other universities — Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Just like last year, UPM has brought national and international shame to Malaysia academia with the Mat Rempit-antics of the campus security, acting in utter disregard of the fundamental rights of students in arrogantly and high-handedly seizing the laptop, mobile phone, MP3 player and 10 other items valued at RM6,000 from first-year UPM timber technology student Yee Yang Yang during a spot check of his hostel room on Friday night and questioning him about his involvement in student politics.

In 48 hours, there have been over 14,000 viewings of the Malaysiakini videoclip of the standoff between UPM students and the UPM campus security. The video clip has also been uploaded on YouTube in more than half-a-dozen sites in the past one day, with over 3,000 hits.

The UPM students must be commended for courageously standing up for their fundamental human rights and refusing to cow to a Mat Rempit-style of bullying by the campus security.

This is the second year that a disgraceful UPM episode has gone up on YouTube, which attracted over 200,000 hits from multiple sites on the video clip last year of unruly conduct of UPM student council leaders, condoned by UPM security, against “anti-establishment” student activists.

The latest Mat Rempit antics of the UPM authorities raises very hard questions as to how academic and research excellence can flourish in UPM when such Mat Rempit culture in the university administration is allowed to run wild without check.

Even more important, it raises the more important question whether the “Strategic Plan for Higher Education: Laying the Foundation Beyond 2020” launched by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the end of last month to create world-class universities has any hope of success when mediocre minds appear to have an upper hand in running Malaysian universities.

I call on the Higher Education Minister, Datuk Mustapha Mohamed to condemn in no uncertain terms such Mat Rempitism in UPM and contempt for student rights and to send a clear message to the UPM authorities that they are doing a great disservice to the nation in bringing ridicule and dishonour to the Malaysian higher education system, undermining the national objective to turn Malaysia into one of the world’s education hubs.

Mustapha cannot run away from his responsibility to ensure that the upcoming student elections in the public universities are held in a free and fair manner — or the first casualty will be his National Higher Education Action Plan 2007-2010 to generate “human capital with first-class mentality” and develop “intellectual capital of the highest quality”.

  1. #1 by voice on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 10:47 am

    First thing to question is how people with “mat rempit” mind got into the university? I don’t think the government will take any action, impossible for them to do that.

  2. #2 by Taikor on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 10:51 am

    That’s why not many in Johor fancy a local U. We’d rather go to Singapore where talents are respected and qualification papers are more recognised internationally.

  3. #3 by megaman on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 10:55 am

    what powers do the campus security has that allows them to “confiscate” student items like laptops and other electronic devices ?

    These are not illegal or criminal contrabands, what legal power do they have to do so ?

    Campus security is created to protect the students not to terrorize them …

    What kind of crap is this?

  4. #4 by sotong on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 10:59 am

    This is nothing new.

    We have some leaders, including senior Ministers, at all levels indulging in the dark side of their personalities in bullying, threat, aggression and intimidation to set an example for the younger generation.

    These behaviours are totally unacceptable and dangerous and have no place in a modern and civilised society.

    The country grossly lack good leadership…………that’s why she is in such a terrible mess!

  5. #5 by malaysia born on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 11:09 am

    This is what happens when you loosen the standards and sub-standard people get to enter these once-a-upon-a-time elite university.

    The tragic thing about this present and the previous episode is not that no action was taken….after all, this IS Malaysia,right?…neither is it a tragic thing when there has been no serious discussion by the university and/or the minister/ministry concerned.

    The tragic thing is that those responsible think that it is alright to act as such and it is their ultimate right to do so.

    For those parents who are thinking and hoping their sons and daughters will make it to university one day, please ensure that it is a foreign university…..and make double sure that they stay away from here after graduation. I may be harsh here but although i am furious, i am STILL rational. Our universities are supposed to turn out FINE and QUALITY citizens for the future but as it is now, i am pretty sure that everyone would agree that our local university is a gone case. It’s beyond help. It’s a joke and as we all know, most of the graduates that graduated are NOT marketable in the real world.

    Until and and unless there are serious major changes to the intake of students and staff (both academic or otherwise), our universities, just like the present day government are no longer relevant to the country.

  6. #6 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 11:24 am

    University and University Colleges Act 1974 Rules!!

    The Security people needed the laptop and stuff for their “research” purposes.

    Was UPM one of the Universities that recently appointed a new Deputy Vice Chancelllor (a non-bumi) for “Research and Development”?

  7. #7 by sotong on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 11:25 am

    Look at the bahaviour of some MPs in Parliament….there are same similarity.

    They achieved their narrow and damaging political aims through aggression, threat, intimidation and bullying.

  8. #8 by hotsync on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 11:41 am

    Sickening watching the video posted. Why does our young people has to go through such ways to fight for their rights? Being threatened, violated, verbally abused….. who initiated this? The Uni deans must be answerable. Please MOE look into this illegal confiscation and student rights violation. How come security guards can act like thugs? They should provide a warrant even before entering to the student rooms to confiscate things. Whats the policeman with a machine gun doing around there in the first place?

    Next thing you know, laptop, phone all damage probably follow by lame excuses. By all means sue them and take them to task.

  9. #9 by hotsync on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 11:51 am

  10. #10 by badak on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 12:02 pm

    Its ok for Putri and putra UMNO to openly recruit new members in local university.But the minute they hear of an opposition camp being set up all hell will break lose,

    Remember the incident where some UMNO and MCA thugs beat up girls in a campus,What happen to that incident,nothing ,so what is new.

    As long as BN rules this kind of things will keep on happening,Slowly we losing more and more of our human rights.

    So all you people who are reading this blog ,Give the opposition a chance.VOTE OPPOSITION.This may be our last chance.

  11. #11 by smeagroo on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 1:17 pm

    These ppl are not there to study. They got in not by merit and thus they dont gv a damn. End of the day the govt will still hire them and create jobs for them and they can idle at work.

  12. #12 by sotong on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 1:30 pm

    What a public nuisance…..they are influenced to carry out the dirty work of their leader/s.

    Instead of playing a positive and productive role in the society, I feel sorry for these misguided people for being used to achieve their leader/s’ narrow and damaging political agenda.

  13. #13 by AntiRacialDiscrimination on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 2:06 pm

    Even our Minister, Azalina, openly said that she was a Mat Rempit. All those Mat Rempit in UPM has gotten the inspiration from Azalina.

  14. #14 by Jonny on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 3:31 pm

    Seems like most of our ministers are ‘graduated’ mat rempits then?

  15. #15 by achmedrauff on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 4:21 pm

    Not only UPM. The same goes to every other public varsity. It’s just that this time the students of UPM decides to do public.

  16. #16 by grace on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 4:54 pm

    The problem in our whole stinking system is that there are too many subprime(borrow from subprime loan) people running the country.
    One of these days, just like subprime mortgage co.,we would be dragged down hill by them.
    We have VCs who are subprime in quality. Prime Minister who is utterly useless and knows next to nothing. With such morons leading the country, how do you expect them to propel us to world class status? Just dream on.
    The present pathetic condition our country is due to Pak Lah inaction against those corrupt officials and minister.
    Do you notice that every one with just a small residual power can make decisions- much tothe detriments to the public.
    Now security guards can unilaterally rob students of their belongings. What action is the authority going to take? VC will close his big mouth , So is the Education Minister.

  17. #17 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 5:29 pm

    The “sedia gempur” spirit. Excellence!

  18. #18 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 8:21 pm

    There is no doubt that Malaysia is fast deteriorating into a comprehensive police state. Even as a police state they’re doing a bad job. Is that all they can do? Or are we heading towards a future when students spy on fellow students, a time of moles and cells, when students are expelled for having ‘politically incorrect views’?

  19. #19 by disapointed86 on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 8:21 pm

    since there is a news that 60% of top lvl police force involve in corruption..how come until now…not even 1 being caught? lolz..its not police only …politicians also cant run away from it….recently in Singapore : Ex-NKF chairman Richard Yong sentenced to 15 months’ jail

    in Malaysia : none?
    lolz…..the law enforcer is sleeping..folo the steps of AAB =)..so pathetic…other country moving upwards..we are moving downwards..>VISION 2020

  20. #20 by disapointed86 on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 8:22 pm

    VISION 2020 –> S Club 7 = Never had a dream come true =)

  21. #21 by voice on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 8:53 pm

    The main problem still comes from the people of Malaysia, let’s see the overall picture, how many percents of the people really care? while discussion about the topic running in cyberspace, go outside and do a small survey, you will find out that the majority people don’t care about topic like this, when 31st August come, people will just hanging the flags around and “celebrate”, after that, back to normal, that’s the “unity” the BN government meant, behind that the so called “leaders” can do whatever they like, since they are the LAW, what we need is public mind change, the country is not progressing, try compare to Japan, there’s huge gap between the way of thinking, it’s not about culture, but evolution in thinking, our situation will keep going on and on, I’m sick and tired of all this, wondering whether the general election is still capable to bring changes? just hoping we will not end it with violent way…

  22. #22 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 9:33 pm

    Do you know what is the scary part of this incidence?

    This whole terrorising and underhand action was done openly against someone whom the university authority (with the blessing of our government, of course) identified as ‘opposition’.

    Come on, it’s just a campus election and by right, the authority and the government should just allow the students to have their democratic election without any interference. This is where we encourage our young citizens to participate in a healthy election, fair and square.

    Instead, we see the dark side of our government and its agents. They are so scared of fair election that they must suppress and eliminate, by whatever means, any potential opposition.

    If the government and its agents can openly go all out and play dirty to suppress, frustrate, and eliminate opposition at this level of election, imagine what they will do during the next general elections! That’s scary!!

  23. #23 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 10:43 pm

    The security staff did a sloppy job.

    The officer responsible should have just acknowledged having received the equipment verbally. Then go through it and find if there is anything in there that is in incriminating. The student should then be called in to explain whatever that needs explaining and show cause as to why he should not be expelled.

    Decide. Do you want to have a full police state or don’t you? Nothing can be worse then when you are teetering between the two.

  24. #24 by wtf2 on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 - 10:46 pm

    Got a feeling the incompetence of the umno related adminstration is bursting at its seams!

    Malaysia needs another foreign force to reoccupy the land and reeducate the so called Umnoputras that what they are donig now is no worse than South Africa last time.

    Racist/funnyinthehead countries faced sanctions e.g. Cuba, North Korea and South Africa.

  25. #25 by trashed on Wednesday, 19 September 2007 - 12:13 am

    As commented by undergrad2, the securoty personnel should have just acknowledged receipt and then go about their investigation.

    Why is there a need to show arrogance and power trip ? Isn’t it the right of the aggrieved party to at least have an acknowledgement of the items taken so that there is no dispute later ?

  26. #26 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 19 September 2007 - 8:45 am

    Yep. Nothing wrong with just acknowledging receipt of the items taken. If he didn’t want to do it in writing, then verbally would suffice.

    As for blocking the vehicle in the manner they did, that is an offence. One wrong does not make another wrong right. Right??

  27. #27 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 19 September 2007 - 8:50 am

    “In 48 hours, there have been over 14,000 viewings of the Malaysiakini videoclip of the standoff between UPM students and the UPM campus security. ” Kit

    This characterization of the incident is with all due respect inaccurate.

    The confrontation was between a small group of UPM students and a security officer who did not know how to do his job.

  28. #28 by helpless on Wednesday, 19 September 2007 - 8:56 am

    Shall try it out with Michael Chang ( Malaysian Robbinhood), possibly have more effective result compared to police, education ministry.

  29. #29 by daniel on Thursday, 20 September 2007 - 10:48 am

    In the first place, does the security personnel have the authority to confiscate anything? Even the police need to have a warrant to search any private premises and will need to acknowledge receipt in writing for any items retained for investigation. At least that was what my lawyer told me.

  30. #30 by buntal on Tuesday, 1 January 2008 - 1:11 am

    The standard of the Malaysian education system has gone down tremendously year after year and with the Mat Rempit as one of the social issues, it makes the local uni students no longer be respected. Too much quota for those who don’t even deserve to enter the tertiary level. It’s these people that create problems.

You must be logged in to post a comment.