9 OCTOBER 2009,
Profesor Datuk Dr. Ghauth Jasmon
50603 Universiti Malaya.
DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST 6 MEMBERS OF PBCUM FOR INVITING ‘OUTSIDERS’ TO JUDGE A CHINESE DEBATE COMPETITION ON POLITICS IN THE COUNTRY
Regarding this, Saw Yee Fung, Chan Kheng Fai, Ng Xin Ying, Koh Ming Cherh, Chan Wei De and Yong Siew Cheng, the president of PBCUM and committees of the debate show have been charged under 1979 Student Body’s act.
PBCUM recently organized a debate on politics in Malaysia. We invited Seputeh parliamentarian Teresa Kok (below), MCA central committee member Wong Nai Chee and political commentator Koh Kok Wee to judge the debate show. However, the above 6 students were charged for bringing in "outsiders" to this event. According to student conduct committee chairman, Prof Faisal Ali, no outsider is allowed to attend any student activity.
I hope that Prof. will seriously think about the consequences incurred if disciplinary action taken toward them.
1. Outsiders to attend the events in University of Malaysia if it is for academic purposes. To date, we have invited many ministers, politicians and well-known personalities to our various events in the past. It surely will create huge problem in future if University decides that we cannot invite outsiders. Which means, all the events in University of Malaya can invite the staff and students from University of Malaya only? In that case, even if our Prime Minister will technically not be allowed in our activities.
2. The aim of the debate was to promote clean and healthy competition amongst the teams. We achieved that goal and the show had attracted many students from other universities. Many debaters praised our initiative and boldness to organize such a debate. We believe it is necessary that students take an interest in politics, not to join or side any political party, but to be responsible and aware citizens of this country.
3. There is no any hidden agenda in this debate as the three people invited were from different political parties. It was a good, safe and healthy platform for discussion and debate. We should be proud of them.
4. The student affairs division called them on the morning of 8 September. The committee went forward to explain that the main reason for inviting the judges was that they were former debaters and they are experienced debate judges as well as seasoned politicians. After taking consideration into their explanation, we were allowed them to go on with the show. Why suddenly are they suddenly being charged although verbal permission has been obtained?
5. If disciplinary action is taken against them, it will spoil the image of the university. Being in university should not meant that students are banned from any sort out discussion about politics. The best student in would be one that is not just be a bookworm but one who is concerned about issues around him/her.
Yap Zhen Jun
Deputy Vice President
Undergraduates’ Representative Council 2008/2009
University of Malaya.
No. Tel: 0124187825