Hundreds of thousands back UiTM alumni to restrict admission to Bumiputera students

Hindraf 2.0 de facto leader P. Uthayakumar (centre) at Ilham Tower to hand over a memorandum to the Council of Elders in Kuala Lumpur May 28, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Hindraf 2.0 de facto leader P. Uthayakumar (centre) at Ilham Tower to hand over a memorandum to the Council of Elders in Kuala Lumpur May 28, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — The Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Alumni Association (PAUiTM) has garnered over 100,000 signatures so far backing its objection to Hindraf 2.0’s demand that the government open the university to non-Bumiputera students.

Alumni association president Datuk Mohd Zaini Hassan told Malay Mail that the petition, which can be found on the Change.org platform, will be delivered to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Education Minister Maszlee Malik and the Institutional Reforms Committee.

“We don’t have a set target. We just want to see how far we can go. We started around [7am today] and if you see the momentum, the numbers shot up this afternoon.

“I’m confident by tonight we can get more than 100,000 [signatories]. Right now, we don’t have a cut-off date but at the very least, I think we’ll keep the petition going for about one week,” said Mohd Zaini, adding that getting 100,000 signatories would be an achievement in itself.

Earlier this afternoon, PAUiTM and six other NGOs also lodged a police report in Shah Alam against Hindraf 2.0, accusing the latter of insisting UiTM opens its doors to non-Bumiputeras.

It was reported that the alumni’s secretary Shukri Ishak said Hindraf 2.0’s actions can be seen as seditious and if the authorities do not act quickly, it would give the wrong message to the Malays and might also lead to racial tension.

“We lodged a police report at around 11am together with six other NGOs. We sent our message through our police report today that [Bumiputera rights] are in the Federal Constitution. Please don’t touch them.

“We don’t want certain parties to play up issues involving the Constitution and we have had a massive response agreeing with us, even from non-Bumiputeras. Don’t mess with the system,” said Mohd Zaini.

Yesterday, Hindraf 2.0’s leader P. Uthayakumar and around 30 members of the organisation submitted a 25-point demand to the IRC.

Hindraf 2.0 is a different organisation from the original group Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) led by Uthayakumar’s brother P. Wayta Moorthy. The latter had supported Pakatan Harapan in the run-up to the election.

The group, among others, demanded that UiTM be opened up to non-Bumiputera students and a 15 per cent mandatory intake of the B75 group into education institutions such as Permata kindergartens as well as universities and colleges.

In response, PAUiTM opposed the suggestion, claiming the university was built as an educational institution for the Malays and Bumiputeras.

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