Wednesday, July 26, 2006

UPM refused to accept memorandum

(From the left) Mohd Rifaudin Abd Wahab, Chang Lih Kang and Zainul Faqar Yaakob representing the 23 NGOs at the UPM campus yesterday.
I am unable to apprehend why had the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Putra Malaysia refused to meet up with the representatives of 23 NGOs and to receive their memorandum yesterday.

The news was not reported by the non-Chinese main stream newspapers today. However, all the Chinese newspapers covered the event and Sin Chew Jit Poh had even put it up in the front page.

Probably the Vice-Chancellor felt that being a high ranking civil servant, it was not in accordance with the protocol for him to meet up with the unknown figures of the unknown NGOs. He was of course not totally wrong in terms of the official protocol.

However, he had probably forgotten that living in a democratic society, it was part and parcel of his job, namely the caretaker of a higher education institution, to listen to all views and criticisms especially when there were imminent crisis within the institution he was in-charge of. Perhaps, it’s time for him to take sabbatical leave to further his study on democracy.

In their memorandum, the 23 NGOs had, among others, called for the sacking of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Students Affairs), Azali Mohamed, on a few accounts of allegations against him including his failure to handle the violence in the campus on July 17, 2006.

(Photograph with courtesy of Sin Chew Jit Poh)


Chang Lih Kang 郑立慷 said...

My name should be Chang Lih Kang, not Teh :)

Just a comment, what do you mean by "He was of course not totally wrong in terms of the official protocol."?

I think he was totally wrong! Not only because of what you have mentioned on democracy, but also, the memorandum was endorsed by known NGO such as SUARAM, HAKAM, Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Youth, Women Development Collective, Tamil Foundation etc and all opposition political parties.

Even if what you were saying (.."unknown figures of unknown NGOs") are correct, I do not think we should promote this kind of bureaucratism.

In fact we do not mind having someone who can receive the memo on his behalf. However, not even that his arrogance can compromise.

Teng Chang Khim said...

Dear Lih Kang,

Sorry for the translation. I will correct it.

Well, the 3rd paragraph of my posting should be read within a proper context. Try to read between the lines.

Meanwhile, Suaram, Hakam, SCAHY WDC and TF may be big names to you and me but not to the others. We should not be presumptuous.

It is not a question of bureaucratism but practicability. We should not expect a vice-chancellor of a university to personally receive every memorandum, in terms of official protocol. His representative shall be sufficient although I personally feel that on this issue, he should receive the memo personally to demonstrate his concern, seriousness and openness.

Chang Lih Kang 郑立慷 said...

Thanks for your clarification. I have tried not to be presumptuous, nevertheless, I do not think the VC is clueless about PAS, DAP and PKR...

Anyway, for your information, 4 students from the Students Progressive Front have been called to give testimony in front of the Inquiry panel. However, the panel members have failed to exhibit independency and impartiality. In fact, they were trying to blame the victims as the cause of the incident by asking leading questions.

Thank you for highlighting the case on your blog.

Teng Chang Khim said...

Firstly, I also did not know PAS, DAP and PKR were also involved, probably due to my oversight. Secondly, probably the VC was a real "katak di bawah tempurung" (frog under the coconut shell") and had never heard of PAS, DAP and PKR :).

Continue your good work!