Many lamented that in our universities, undergraduates are divided into ‘pro-establishment’ and ‘anti-establishment’ groups. But there’s nothing wrong with that. In other countries, like Australia and the USA, one can see the same opposing political camps.
However, what is wrong in Malaysia is the establishment taking punitive action against those who speak out against it. University authorities in Malaysia want students to toe the official line, or face severe punishment.
Around the world, universities of course purport to be centres of higher learning, training their students to be future leaders and innovative thinkers. But in Malaysia, we want robotic stooges to come out of our centres of so-called higher learning!
In USM, 5 months after the campus polls where some students distributed boycott leaflets or spoke with the press, very much against the conditions laid down by the university authority, those students have now been witch-hunted down and hauled in to face disciplinary action.
Great stuff to foster independent-minded students. And face possible disciplinary actions for speaking to the press and passing out leaflets to boycott a university election? In an institute of higher learning? In a democracy?