Sunday, February 27, 2011

Campus Election : Pro-M vs. Pro-A

Students are future leaders and they should lead the way to a better Malaysia. Academics should be there to support them and provide intellectual guidances. Campus elections are the first taste of democratic processes for most youths.

Only a selected few are able to enjoy such experiences where the campaigning and promotion of manifestos are almost similar to the real political elections. They are supposed to elect the student governments. But when the administration try to overplay their bias EC roles then the experiences will be bad.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has emerged as the winner in this week’s campus elections after big gains by pro-reform candidates. Very encouraging sign indeed. In spite of the government influence and presence in the campus, opposition to the government is getting stronger and stronger each day.

Although the pro-Mahasiswa faction that won big insists it is not a front for Pakatan Rakyat (PR), it supports a reform agenda that gels with the coalition’s policies and rhetoric. It believes that the votes it gained among the collective student body of about 200,000 were a result of dissatisfaction with the laws and other establishment policies.

A wave of political activism gripped university students during the recently-concluded campus polls, with the fracas in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) that injured six people two days ago highlighting their disenchantment with university authorities. The government has had to step in and encourage discussion instead of discipline after the disqualification of 33 pro-Mahasiswa candidates by the varsity’s deputy vice-chancellor Fauzi Ramlan.

Although they were quickly reinstated, a determined group of 100 students had camped overnight in front of the student affairs department to demand an explanation. It ended up in a scuffle with security guards when they tried to force their way up to Fauzi’s office, which resulted in a shattered glass door that wounded three guards and students each.

The pro-Mahasiswa faction, which lobbies for student autonomy instead of government authority, made extensive gains in this year’s student elections, winning in seven universities, including the coveted Universiti Malaya, out of 20.

Pro-Mahasiswa campaigned for the devolving of power to student bodies and the abolition of “oppressive laws that restrict basic human rights” such as the University and University Colleges Act (UUCA), the Internal Security Act (ISA), Sedition Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA).

I personally salute to the student movement for their noble effort and wish that the "older" folks will just drown in their guilt and keep their silence if they are not going to say the right thing that is good for the future of these young minds who will inherit the mess that we create.

By the way, if youngsters want to see reforms, it’s up to them. There's no logic in youngsters repeating everything u old timers do. The old timers may not be afraid of the young, but u people are definitely afraid of changes. That's how the federal government remained for 50 over years, I guess.

The fact is, many countries reform because of student movements. These are people without any vested interest, financial burden to worry about and they are out idealists. Older folks are mostly tainted by their own acceptance of the corrupting ways of government, hence, afraid to confront the current regime. 

Like most countries in the middle east and many young people under 40 years old in Malaysia, all these students had never seen or taste an alternative government. No wonders, their blood boiled with enthusiasm and a desire for a change. Libya has been ruled by Gadafi for 42 years, and Malaysia has been ruled by the same party for 48 years (since 1963). Tell me that is not long enough.

Some of people might blatantly so ignorant to be unaware that these undergraduates are the nation's future leaders? If at this University level they are not allowed political awareness, what is going to happen to the progressiveness for tomorrow? Are they not the flower of our future?

By keeping university students out of mainstream politics this is what could be expected. It is stupidity to treat an 18 years old as kids who don't know between right and wrong. The voting age should be brought down to 18 years instead of the present 21. When an 18 year old can marry and raise a family why not he or she be given the right to vote at that age. 

And yes, I just remember one fun fact. Isn’t Saiful Bukhari a leader in the Pro Aspirasi faction? He is doing good now. No need to work since 2008 and have enough money to do everything including a haj and a romance on the side. LOL. I remember the pro government movement, Aspirasi once consider changing their name to Penggerak Siswa after word breaks out that Saiful Bukhari is once a leader of Aspirasi. Plus, the government's effort forcing the Sodomy II farce down our throats is really denting Pro Aspirasi's image among students today.

Finally I would like to congratulate to all the winners. To the losers do not be disheartened - if u firmly believe in the principles u stood for in the election - stay focused and continue the good fight. This is what a civil and democratic election should teach all of of us, old and young alike. 

Once a result has been determined, then winners and losers should close rank and do all that they can to see that their Universities progress for the good of all. Losers should not oppose merely for opposition sake, but put forth constructive ideas and suggestions. Winners should not dismantle everything and reinvent the wheel. Accept what is good and improve what is weak and lacking.

The students have made their choices, now it’s time for them to implement what they have promised. This is what Democracy is all about. The future for our country looks bright - not because of pro PR or pro BN students - but because democracy is at work.


Asielah said...

great post! i sure do hate the political scene in malaysia. u'll feel utterly disgusted and furious once you know what's hidden behind the facade the government put up.

i do think however that they have done some good. not all are bad. but if we know that they're going in the wrong direction, and mis-using their power, it's time for change. they're too old anyways. they should let in some young minds in.

Anonymous said...

hey dude this is the 1st time im reading ur blog.a fren of mine suggested that i read ur blog.about the relatively recent chaos in UPM,i gotta admit im with the students on this one.i mean to use dirty tactics to not let students win their hard fought seats,and to be a coward not being able to face the students and explain (and show proof)just shows how 'respectable' u are as a leader of a uni.a person i knw was in the vid circulating in fb when the pro M students confronted the TNC to demand explanation.he too was expelled from the hostel when we were in yr1 or yr2 after he won a seat in the campus election just coz of being a pro M rep.and apparently some lects in UPM approve what the students have done.its good for their development,they say.and whats in the media is just the 'tip of the iceberg' to many other wrongdoings the uni has done to students.but being a student in msia,u'll always be seen as wrong.just coz u dont have yes,i gotta agree with the students.apparently power is being handed to more wrong unqualified people these days.what a shame.


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