SEPTEMBER 8 — Yes, you are reading it right.
The amendments of Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) or better known as AUKU, which took place in 2012, was nothing more than a farce. The “progressive” element which replaced the old version of Section 15 is not progressive at all.
Students are still subject to punishment by the University if they are actively involved in politics.
Or should I say... if they are actively involved in politics by supporting the Opposition parties. It is a matter of fact that those who support and portray themselves as the supporters of the ruling party will be exempted from any punishment (let’s call them the lucky group).
They are not considered as imposing danger to the university nor giving the university a bad name to the public. Only those who support the Opposition are considered as dangerous students, their minds poisoned by bad guys and the university’s image has been dirtied by their involvement in politics.
Consequently, only one group of students will be punished by the university and the lucky group will escape the punishment. Why the lucky group escape the punishment you might ask. The answer is simple: Because they support the ruling party.
Needless to list down the students who were punished because of their participation in politics after the amendments took place. The fact is, we, the students, are still subject to rules imposed by the university which they can be punished on the basis of damaging the university’s image.
Ironically, the lucky group will not be facing the consequences of participating in politics. How lucky they are!
Now, what would be the environment of our students in the future?
Are we going to cultivate the selective punishment environment in our higher education system?
Are we going to instil fear in our students’ minds so that they keep supporting one party for the rest of their lives?
The way I see it, there’s no hope that the environment will be changed as long as the ruling party who introduced the Act and later amended it (which is a farce) stays in power.
But, is there any hope of change if Pakatan Harapan becomes the ruling party?
he last time I read the news, the chairman of the Opposition coalition is the one who introduced the Act while he was the Minister of Education 4 decades ago.
Hence, is it possible for the Opposition coalition to take this matter seriously by having it as one of their manifestos in the next General Election?
And for us students, what’s the game plan for them to take us seriously?
* Soeraya Abdullah is student at one of the public universities in Klang Valley
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.