Thursday, September 21, 2006

Usaha Paling Malu (UPM)

Here’s action at an institution of ‘higher’* learning.

* there's a Cantonese word sounding somewhat like that, which would be more appropriate to describe the 'learning' after you have read on.

Universiti Paling Malu (UPM) ‘pro-establishment’ camp apparently has circulating a VCD that badmouthed all opposition parties, some media organisations and NGOs are ‘puppeteers’ out to create chaos and disharmony among students in public universities.

In other words, only the Barisan Nasional is not a puppeteer.

The VCD was distributed last week. Its clips specifically target the ‘anti-establishment’ Students Progressive Front (SPF), ahead of campus elections nationwide tomorrow. It’s a bit of a wasted effort because the SPF in UPM will
boycott the polls anyway, because eof the non-transparent and extremely biased conditions.

A UPM student, who is obviously afraid to reveal his/her identity, told Malaysiakini the VCD was distributed by Student Affairs Department officials to members of the student representative council and the hostel committee.

The clip painted the SPF as an illegal group that uses the university’s Mandarin Language Society as a platform for political activity. It states that students in this camp are mainly Chinese Malaysians.

Thank goodness, though the VCD didn’t say it but its implicit message is obvious, that Malay involvement is minimal or even non-existent.

But Malay opposition parties or NGOs were not spared. The VCD blacklisted the DAP, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), PAS, Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM), Suaram and the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH).

Personalities implicitly condemned were DAP leaders Lim Kit Siang, Anthony Loke and Teng Chang Kim, PKR information chief Tian Chua and PSM pro-tem secretary-general S Arulchelvan, Suaram executive director Yap Swee Seng, KLSCAH Youth chief Tan Soon Lim and malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan.

They were described as “mentors” of SPF.

Then, in its ultimate spin (yang paling malu), the UPM VCD claimed that the 40 thuggish students, who were led by UPM’s student representative council president Abdul Manaf Ariffin, were actually provoked by SPF members, who had refused to co-operate and were unwilling to heed advice.

I suppose then, as claimed by UPM’s VC, that to further 'persuade' the recalcitrant Chinese students to be more discipline, those thugs broke out into the rah rah rah campus song.

But regrettably, the slant of the VCD, while not sparing PAS and other Malay opposition parties or less-than-friendly NGOs or independent news media like Malaysiakini, took on a decidedly anti-Chinese theme.

Well, our future leaders will ensure the keris is always sharpened and regularly drawn.

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