KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — The Mahasiswa Nasional student body today expressed their appreciation to the Umno leadership led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for giving them the opportunity to delve in politics and provide them with a platform to voice their opinions.
Mahasiswa Nasional representative Ammar Adnan, who is also Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) Student Representative Council president, said the amendments to the Universities and University Colleges Act (AUKU) 1971 had changed the internal landscape of universities to enable students to be involved in politics and interact unhindered.
“In the past, university students who wanted to join politics had to do it secretly. Now undergraduates are free to perch on any tree and build their nests. Today the Prime Minister has provided the tree like the National Undergraduates Leadership Conference (Pemanas), Barisan Nasional Undergraduates Internship Programme (MANTAP) and Felo Perdana (Premier Fellow).
“This is a great leader as he gives youths the opportunity to compete and we congratulate the Prime Minister for seeing us as an asset of Umno and not its opponent,” he said when debating the president’s policy speech at the Umno General Assembly at Putra World Trade Centre today.
While describing Najib, who is also Umno president, as a champion of university students, he said the Prime Minister had met students abroad almost every month.
“ I say the Prime Minister is a true champion of the undergraduates . This is the Prime Minister who touched the hearts of the youth,” he said.
In this regard, he proposed that the government consider measures to alleviate the financial problems of university students by curbing the rising cost of living at the moment.
Ammar said among the moves taken by the government was fuel subsidy for undergraduates riding motorcycles with small engine capacity under 150cc.
“The measure would help lower the cost shouldered by undergraduates presently. Assistance could be debited from the student’s Bank Rakyat card at Petronas stations,” he said.
Ammar also drew the attention of delegates when he called the government to consider exempting
repayment to National Higher Education Corporation (PTPTN) for graduates who obtain degrees at Class 2 and above as enjoyed by graduates with first class degrees now.
“We know the government has always listened to the cries of the people especially the B40 (lower income) group including in education,” he said. — Bernama