Call for return of student activism on national issues in universities and abandonment of all pending plans to penalise Fahmi and university students for Anwar programme in University of Malaya on Oct. 27
The nine charges slapped on University Malaya student leader Fahmi Zainol by the University of Malaya in connection with Anwar Ibrahim’s return to his alma mater university on Oct. 27 and the show-cause letters to eight other University of Malaya students as well as pending disciplinary actions against other university students from other pubic universities must deplored in the strongest possible terms.
They must be dropped completely as they reflect a Barisan Nasional government and university administrators who can only think of how to control and brainwash students, instead of cultivating and grooming a new generation of thinking and critical citizens, which is essential if Malaysia is to stand tall in the world in competition with other countries in this age of science and technology
Malaysian education, whether primary, secondary or university, are facing a prolonged crisis, which is translated into lesser competitiveness for Malaysia.
It is a real shame that Malaysia is behind South Korea by 19 years and Singapore by 35 years in productivity, when Malaysia started off on almost equal footing five decades ago.
International educational assessments for primary and secondary students showed that Malaysian students are among the lowest one-third of international benchmarks while our universities have lost out in international comparisons, omitted from the most prestigious World Top University rankings.
This is because our educational system has failed to produce students with critical and higher-order thinking faculties.
It is therefore time to encourage the return of student activism in national affairs among our university students, because students are idealistic youths who should be encouraged to be concerned about national affairs without taking sides in partisan politics.
I call for the return of student activism in national affairs in our universities and the abandonment of all pending plans to penalise Fahmi and university students for Anwar programme in University of Malaya on Oct. 27.
Without taking partisan sides of supporting National Front or Pakatan Rakyat parties, the university administrations should encourage and not cripple the development of critical faculties of our undergraduates.