USM students “protest” happily
They don’t look sad. They don’t look angry. It’s all smiles for some of us here who continue to believe that we are, indeed, doing the right thing.
Perhaps, this is the Malaysian way of protesting Israel’s atrocities. Malaysian varsitiy students have, over the years, evolved into cute domesticated kittens – de-wormed, and toilet trained.
Far left, wearing orange, is USM’s student council leader, Mohd Johari Awang Sazali, who gave us the quote of the day.
“Kami seluruh mahasiswa USM yang mengutamakan keamanan, dengan satu suara, membantah kekejaman Israel terhadap Lebanon [cough] dan Pakistan,” he said.
That says a great deal about this “protest”, which is an official USM programme, and part of a nationwide call on students to slam Israel’s unending aggression in the Middle East. UMNO Youth sponsored Universiti Malaya students with 2,000 wristbands condemning Israel.
Student councils in all Malaysian public universities are monopolised by the UMNO-linked ASPIRASI group. The UUCA bans students groups from any political affiliation, but in practice, it’s a mystery whether the same rules apply to those inclined towards the ruling government. Most of the independent, and allegedly pro-opposition, student groups boycotted campus elections last year. The current Student Council have been described by many, including a senior intelligence officer (plain clothes Pak Guard) at USM’s Jabatan Keselamatan (Security Dept), as puppets of politically appointed university authorities.
Never mind that. In short, student movements without the right affiliations are deemed anti-government and anti-establishment, two labels some university authorities are obsessed with.
Anyway, back to the students protest. There really is nothing wrong in holding a protest to show our emotions. And Malaysians’ emotions, in general, show how apathetic we are to societal issues. We criticise Condoleeza Rice for playing the piano while Lebanon dies, but are we that much better just because some quarters call for a protest, which is compulsory?
Everybody smiled. Johari hands over the memorandum, which is endorsed by all USM student bodies and, of course, top dogs in high offices who created this event in the first place, to a *special officer* of the Higher Education Minister.
Next post on who said what.
Now, this is more like it.
Sigh, some people just want to look good on tomorrow’s papers.
I bet the headlines will scream “Students condemn Israel”. Duh.
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