Stop making the Deputy VCs as sacrificial victims when the people who should resign are the DPM and Education Minister Muhyiddin and the VC Amin Jalaludin for continued political interference against academic freedom and excellence

The Deputy Vice Chancellors, Professor Dr. Mohd Hamid Abd Shukor (academic and international) and Professor Datuk Dr. Rohana Yusof (student affairs) should not be made sacrificial victims in the continued political interference with the once leading university in the country.

If any body should quit their posts, it is the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for continued political interference against academic freedom and excellence in University of Malaya and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Datuk Dr. Mohd Amin Jalaludin who had dismally failed to stand up for the academic staff and the university students in University of Malaya against such political interference by the politicians from Putrajaya.

The greatest tragedy of University of Malaya is that it has fallen off from the pedestal as one of the leading world universities even in the sixties and seventies, left far behind by its earlier peers and even equals among the leading national universities in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia and there are no signs that University of Malaya is on the bend to restore her prestigious world top positions for academic freedom and excellence some forty years ago.

Instead, there are unending efforts by the bureaucrats in Putrajaya, obeying the dictates of their political masters, to dumb down the university population, whether academicians or students, wanting them abandon their idealism and to accept uncritically the status quo in the country – which is in fact robbing the country of the best in idealism and constructive ideas of the most educated and young generation of Malaysians.

The Cabinet at its meeting next Wednesday must bestir itself to reverse the punitive decisions against the two Deputy Vice Chancellors, one for not supporting UMNO and the other for being too lenient with students in the banned talk featuring opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the end of last year.

The universities in the country must be an arena for the contest of ideas and not for the continued suppression of ideas.

This is for the sake of the country, to ensure our university excellence and continued competitiveness , and not for the sake of UMNO or Barisan Nasional.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah