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SK: A former university student would disagree, PM
By Martin Jalleh
4/7/2001 8:27 pm Wed
[Mahathir tidak mahu pelajar aktif berpolitik tetapi yang
peliknya dia dan Umno berpolitik sahaja di kampus mengemis
sokongan dan ahli. Malah mahu membuang orang itu dan orang ini.
Sepatutnya menteri pelajaranlah yang lebih menonjol di kampus
- mengapa tidak diserahkan semuanya kepada menteri pelajaran dan
timbalannya sahaja? Apa perlunya Mahathir tiba dan bercakap pula
kerana dia sendiri tahu dia tidak diingini pun di situ? Apakah
Mahathir gentar anak-buahnya itu tersilap angka dan kata-kata
lagi? Atau mereka sebenarnya tidak layak untuk menjadi menteri??
Mahathir mahu rakyat membantah di peti undi sahaja sedangkan
demokrasi bukan setakat itu sahaja. Peti undi hanyalah satu
suara sedangkan ada banyak lagi suara demokrasi. Mahathir
mahu rakyat bebas memangkah tetapi tidak bebas mendengar dan
berkata-kata. Itu namanya kuku besi yang bersalut demokrasi.
Pandangan Mahathir itu langsung menyanggahi apa yang ditulis
oleh Menteri Undang-undangnya sendiri. Ini bukan satu contoh
untuk diteladani apatah lagi untuk dikempen dan diajar di
The PM told university students recently not to meddle in the running
of the government and to keep politics out of the campus.
"You don't want outsiders to meddle in your business. By the same
virtue, you must not meddle in others' too.
"I am the Prime Minister and it is my responsibility to administer the
government, so don't interfere in the government's business," he told
2,000 student leaders from all local universities during a dialogue
after closing a symposium themed "Reaffirming the Idealism of
Undergraduates in the New Millennium" at Universiti Malaya.
The PM stressed the need for students to adopt proper approaches
to achieving their objective instead of whatever means to justify the
He added that they should use their right to vote if they wanted to
change the government because the ballot symbolised the ultimate
power of the people (Star, 2.7.01).
One can think of no better and fitting response to the PM's
twisted thoughts than the wise views of a former student of
the University of London, who, in his doctorate, wrote so
"Even with the increasing number of the young and well-educated in
the country there appears to be little interest in the importance of
"The bland "antidote"given by the government has always been the
same == that so long as progress and development are brought to
the rakyat, other matters are to be regarded as secondary. So far,
the people have somehow swallowed this prescription...
"Will things continue to develop this way? Perhaps so, because
there has been nothing in the education system of the country that
encourages the inculcation of the rule of law or the importance of
the people's right to question the authorities on matters that affect
their lives. (Hear ye, Hear ye, Mr Prime Minister).
"Malaysians (especially university students?) are expected to look,
listen and follow. If one wants to lead, one has to join the ruling elite...
"In view of this prevalence, the first logical imperative must certainly
be to introduce the essence of the rule of law and human rights
within the education system so as to endear the young to the
"At least at university level there is a dire need for the students to
learn about the rule of law in concept as well as practice. Be they
Muslim or non-Muslim, social justice and fairness, firmly
encapsuled in the notion of checks and balances, must be imbued
in the education system...
"...the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 has to be
toned down in terms of the freedoms of speech and association
it drastically restricts....
"It is imperative that the infrastructure for the dissemination of
public opinion be on the top of the agenda for the Malaysian
people, if democratic rights are to be even partially meaningful.
"After all, democracy does not only mean having general
elections once in four or five years, or having roads, bridges,
schools and the creation of an echelon of rich people as a
result of rampant political patronage.
"A society has the right to dissent even after the ballot is cast.
"The executive must be allowed to take a substantial portion of
power to rule, but it cannot take away all rights to voice an
opinion that may not go well with those in power. This is what
differentiates a democratic system from a populist regime.
"As Lord Hailsham has recently said, ' Democracy is not the
same as populism, which is and always has been one of its
most dangerous enemies'."
The then university student is none other than the former
"Dr" Rais Yatim, whose "intellectual and academic
demise" (since joining the Supreme Executive) have
been a great loss to this country. The above are excerpts
taken from his doctorate "Freedom from Executive
Power in Malaysia".