Call for return of student activism on national issues in universities and abandonment of all pending plans to penalise Fahmi and university students for Anwar programme in University of Malaya on Oct. 27

The nine charges slapped on University Malaya student leader Fahmi Zainol by the University of Malaya in connection with Anwar Ibrahim’s return to his alma mater university on Oct. 27 and the show-cause letters to eight other University of Malaya students as well as pending disciplinary actions against other university students from other pubic universities must deplored in the strongest possible terms.

They must be dropped completely as they reflect a Barisan Nasional government and university administrators who can only think of how to control and brainwash students, instead of cultivating and grooming a new generation of thinking and critical citizens, which is essential if Malaysia is to stand tall in the world in competition with other countries in this age of science and technology.

Malaysian education, whether primary, secondary or university, are facing a prolonged crisis, which is translated into lesser competitiveness for Malaysia.

It is a real shame that Malaysia is behind South Korea by 19 years and Singapore by 35 years in productivity, when Malaysia started off on almost equal footing five decades ago.

International educational assessments for primary and secondary students showed that Malaysian students are among the lowest one-third of international benchmarks while our universities have lost out in international comparisons, omitted from the most prestigious World Top University rankings.

This is because our educational system has failed to produce students with critical and higher-order thinking faculties.

It is therefore time to encourage the return of student activism in national affairs among our university students, because students are idealistic youths who should be encouraged to be concerned about national affairs without taking sides in partisan politics.

I call for the return of student activism in national affairs in our universities and the abandonment of all pending plans to penalise Fahmi and university students for Anwar programme in University of Malaya on Oct. 27.

Without taking partisan sides of supporting National Front or Pakatan Rakyat parties, the university administrations should encourage and not cripple the development of critical faculties of our undergraduates.

(Speech at a DAP forum in Kulai on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014)

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Sunday, 2 November 2014 - 8:49 am

    The greatest fear of the Barisan Nasional government is when the rakyat become a thinking people.

  2. #2 by Noble House on Monday, 3 November 2014 - 2:29 am

    I still cherish these words from my Mentor to whom I am indebted to:

    “There are only two types of peoples living in this world. One is that of a Leader; the other one is a mere Follower. Which one of these two will become of you when you walked out of this campus do you think?”

    I am indebted to my parents for living, but to my alma mater for living well – to quote Alexander The Great.

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Monday, 3 November 2014 - 9:18 am

    Since the advent of mass public education, students have been a leader in revolutionary change when things are badly wrong in a country. But they are not really that good an agent of change when things are not so bad. So if students activism is to encouraged, we must believe things are really bad.

    I am honestly hesitant to encourage students activism given that their biggest challenge remain getting a very good education and training in a mediocre system. They should be better off training to be scientists and engineers who build products and industry and solve really tough problems.

    But in recent days, finding that both the opposition and even online media has been kid-glove handling Najib’s sheer thick skin of putting the onus on UMNO Selangor to retake the state when he is their No1 problem, I have to change my mind about encouraging the less-than-optimum use of students for change.

  4. #4 by waterfrontcoolie on Monday, 3 November 2014 - 11:39 am

    By international rating, we get to know the quality of university of Malaysia and to the greatest extent, such rating is based on the overall quality of the students within their premises. So can we be surprised if we have half-past Students leaders around? Especially those whose only interests are based on seeking political mentors when they graduate promising to keep the current scenario going? Those few brave hearts able to think out of the box have to face both those peers led-by-their nose as well as the power-that-be with billions to buy over anyone sitting on the fence. The country will be caught by its inability to look further than the boundary of its coconut shell. Leader is suppose to lead but here we have someone prepared to be led by a loser! in the name of IA; not AI of course!

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 5 November 2014 - 9:36 am

    Nowadays univ students or dropouts r educated 2 accept requests fr their future bosses (when they work later) n then proactively prepare themselves 4 d task:
    “May I fark U today?”
    “Can I fark U today?”
    “I want 2 fark U today. OK with U?”
    NO say NO cos dis is d fastest path 2 fame n $ reward

    Another impt skill 2 learn while at univ is 2 learn how 2 STORE spermatozoa n foreign DNA in body 4 days

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