Its been almost 7 months into the year, but the issues relating to Chinese students at Malaysian public universities still dominate much of the talks on campus ‘politics’.
Chinese students, prompted by the no-less racist leanings of the opposition parties (the multi-racial concept is just a facade, while the reality is the opposite within the organisations, i.e. the look of camaraderie is just a coalition of sorts to help realise their the defeat of the detractor parties) have made the following exclusive demands:
· Banners in the Chinese language in UPM and UPSI
· Letterhead in the Chinese language at UPSI, USM, UTM, UUM, UPM
· Special canteens for Chinese at UPSI, USM, UM, UUM, UPM
· Special floor for Chinese students at residential colleges/hostels at UTM
· Special buses to transport Chinese students to church at KUTKM, UTM, UPSI, UM, UUM, UNIMAS, USM, KUTKM, UPM
· To demand that Mandarin be made a compulsory subject at UPSI.
A closer observation reveals that all seven issues are being played up at almost all the universities. It looks as though the Chinese students at all the institutions have come together to voice out these demands.
Outside the perimeter of the universty grounds questions arise as to whether the BN-led government had anticipated this happening. Had they the foresight to visualize such a scenario when they made a policy allowing 45% non-Bumiputera students at the public universities? Are they ready to manage the nurturing of more demands for a raising of quota for Chinese students in spite of all the explanations and rationale put forth all these years? We have to remember that in Malaysia the Chinese make up only 40% of the total population. As such, why the need to ask for a higher percentage for Chinese students? Even without this increase we can see where the scenario is heading.
Backtrack to November 26 and 27 2006. The Chinese students held what was called “A Dialogue Session with Leaders” at UPM. The event was attended by 95 Chinese student leaders from 14 public universities (all identified as supporters of the government). The VIPs present were the Minister of Higher Education, the Deputy Minister, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education, Dato’ Dr. Adham Baba, Dr. Mohd Fauzi Ramlan, Director of Development & Student Affairs Division, Ministry of Higher Education, the Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs UPM, Mohd Ikmal, YB Wei Kar Siong dan YB Lau Yun Peng.
At the session three main issues were brought up, namely:
1. To review the voting system
2. To make it compulsory for all institutes of higher education to organise cultural progammes at least once a year at the university level.
3. That the Universities and Colleges Act (AUKU) be reviewed. They also asked the Ministry of Higher Education to allow for the setting up of Chinese Cultural Societies at universities along with the adoption of two languages.
At the end of the session, the Chinese student representatives submitted a two-page memorandum containing the aforementioned demands to be conveyed to all the relevant people at the Ministry.
The move to demand for such rights is almost the norm among Chinese students partisan to the opposition’s cause, in particular at UPM, USM and UTM. These students would invariably align themselves with external NGOs such as Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) through the efforts of its former Campaign Coordinator, Chang Lih Kang, and the Malaysia Youth and Students Democractic Movement (DEMA) headed by Soh Sok Hua.
The usual trend is for the Chinese students leaders to join DEMA while at university and after completing their studies, work at SUARAM and the Youth for Change (YFC) Movement.
YFC is led by Lee Khai Loon (formerly of DEMA UTM) and Chua Yee Ling (DEMA USM), both of which are directly orchestrated by Tian Chua, PKR’s Information Chief. Both the latter have at one time been active in the Chinese Language Societies at their respective universities. Such links obviously tell quite a lot about Tian Chua’s involvement as the main force behind the Chinese student’s opposition stance at Malaysian public universities in concert with the likes of the PBT, DEMA, YFC and SUARAM
As an example, Ginie Lim had started as the Chairperson of the Chinese Language Society at USM (PBTUSM) before contesting for a seat in the Students Representative Council and subsequently becoming one of its EXCOs. After finishing her studies, she became actively involved in DEMA and appointed a committee member of PKR’s Information Bureau. The same with Lee Khai Loon, who started off as the Chairman of the Chinese Language Society at UTM, contested for a seat in the Students Representative Council at UTM, won and became EXCO MPPUTM . After completing his studies he held a post at DEMA, sent to Hong Kong through the Asian Students Association (ASA), a students network sponsored by the Jewish/U.S. supported National Endowment for Democracy, NED.
Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim called Lee Khai Loon back to Malaysia to assist him in recruiting more young Chinese through the Youth for Change (YFC).
The conclusion to all these:
· Chinese students, whether labeled as supporters of the government or the opposition harbour the same aspirations, i.e. to demand for greater rights for Chinese students and amendments to AUKU (Universities and Colleges Act). Where will all these lead to in the wake of the authorities’ non-submission to their demands? Demonstrations? Where will it lead to?
· The Chinese Language Society at each university is the early platform for Chinese students to access the opposition; the route being PBT to DEMA, SUARAM or YFC.
· Dato’ Seri Anwar and Tian Chua are the godfathers.
· The west had long intended to subvert Malaysia through Divide and Rule and they seem to have made some headway by pitting the Chinese students against the Malays, the government and mostly the country’s affirmative action policy, which they would always turn into a racialist and discriminatory tool.
With the sway towards a more Chinese-oriented policy, the question is will the Chinese be able to be fair to all?