The United Kingdom and Eire Council of Malaysian Students (UKEC) is appalled at the conduct of Ms Sharifah Zohra Jobeen, the moderator of the forum entitled ‘Seiringkah Mahasiswa dan Politik?’, hosted by University Utara Malaysia on 8 December 2012.
As part of our main aim of nation building, we believe in upholding the sanctity that is non-partisan intellectual discourse, a vital concept in ensuring that our society is not enclosed within a silo of only its own beliefs. It is only with the exchange of ideas and opinions that a society can progress beyond its symbiotic relations.
UKEC respects the right of Ms Sharifah to propagate her views on various issues, as it is the natural right of every single Malaysian. While her etiquette calls for a different discussion altogether, it is the perversion of the platform for discussion that remains to be the cause for concern.
Prior to the amendment of the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) in 2012, UKEC had always and will indefinitely hold firm in fighting for the liberation of the student activism movement back in Malaysia. The censorship imposed on Ms Bawani KS as well as the other students in attendance of the forum is not encouraging towards the increased role of the youths within our society.
The efforts by University Utara Malaysia to increase the awareness as well as discussions amongst the student population regarding issues afflicting our nation are commendable. However, forums and discussions will only be effective in promoting intellectual discourse and scholarly dialogue if they are accommodating towards broadening the minds of students and providing them space to have their voices heard.
We hope that students, not only in Malaysia but those abroad as well ensure the continuing freedom and independence of intellectual discourse.
“If all mankind minus one, were one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.” – John Stuart Mill
Yang Berkhidmat untuk Negara dan UKEC
Building Our UKEC for a Sustainable Tomorrow
Mohamad Faiz Ab Rahman
UKEC Chairman 2012/2013
2nd Year, BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics