Tuesday, July 30, 2019

University Students - Less Caring? More Self-Centred? 1,000 protest fee hikes in University?

Over the years, University students in Malaysia have gone 'quiet' - unlike before when students used to come out in protest for justice for the poor - peasants, urban settlers, ...They protested on Palestinian issues, etc 

But nowadays, one wonders what has happened to our young people - are they just indifferent to the suffering and injustices that befall the rest of the people of Malaysia? The number of University students have arisen - but somehow, we are not seeing large protests amongst university students after the mid 1980s...Now, it seems they come out for 'more internal self-serving issues like fee increases, academic freedom..

Are they ignorant about the other issues in Malaysia? Or have they gone apathetic? A major concern today as Malaysia moves towards reducing the voter age to 18... What will they be interested in? Racial issues? Religious issues? University Fees and Loans? OR will they start being concerned about all injustices in Malaysia? Will they start speaking up for the poor? for those suffering injustices? 

Are they becoming more 'self-centred'? Will there be more discussion about other issues affecting Malaysians - or will they ....? 

What about freedom for University students? Will students protest the lack of action on the University and University Colleges Act by this new government despite it being an Election promise? What rights and freedoms do University students want - do they even know?  What is their position on Detention Without Trial...on Freedom of Assembly...?

 Hishamuddin Rais at Baling Protest, 1974In the historical catalogue of events that have become signposts for the raising of human rights consciousness among Malaysians, the Baling incident of December 1974, which saw university students make common cause with impoverished peasants

MMU reverses fee hike for existing students after 1,000-strong protest

After a protest held by dissatisfied students, the Malacca Multimedia University (MMU) management has agreed not to increase its student activity fee (SAF) for all existing students.

“Based on mutual agreement, the management is agreeable that there will be no SAF increment for all existing undergraduate and postgraduate students.

“However, an official announcement of the policy will be released by the management after a detailed discussion with the students’ representative council (SRC),” said the SRC in a statement today.

They thanked the MMU management for collaborating with them to attain the “win-win” situation.

“We appreciate the students’ support and patience throughout this matter,” they said.

The decision appears to be the result of a negotiation between the SRC and MMU's management.

On July 23, about 1,000 MMU students had gathered at the university’s President Square (below) to protest what they described as an unfair increment to the SAF.
The fee was previously RM110 per year and the university had intended to raise it to RM500.

The university had announced this in a memo to students, which also said the increase will be implemented in April 2020 and that the decision was made to facilitate student activities with a higher impact.

SRC president Pouria Zibaei had claimed the announcement of the fee hike was made without the approval of the council, clubs and societies.

He also said a total of 11,500 signatures had been collected from students and submitted to the SRC to management on July 19.

A day after their protest, MMU's management had contacted the students’ representative council for negotiation regarding the SAF.

The meeting had supposedly taken place sometime last week. - Malaysiakini, 30/7/2019

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