Abdullah promised that he would read the memoranda and would invite student representatives to meet him for discussions. He told reporters that his encounter with the students was a "constructive engagement" and that it was "all right" for students to approach him in that manner to present their views.
I do not know whether Abdullah has read the two student memoranda or invited student representatives to meet him for discussions, but I would urge him to keep alive his "constructive engagement" with university students.
Instead of helping the Deputy Prime Minister in his "constructive engagement" initiative, the University of Malaya Senate has instituted disciplinary proceedings against students who took part in the "constructive engagement" with the Deputy Prime Minister last week.
A Malaysian National Council of Students representative, Stephen Doss, for instance, has been summoned to appear before the University of Malaya Senate on Thursday, 21st October 1999 on multiple charges of breach of university student disciplinary regulations - including the handing over of memoranda to the Deputy Prime Minister.
It makes utter nonsense of Abdullah’s new opening of "constructive engagement" with university students, his assurance that the students’ conduct in approaching him last week to present their views was "all right" and that he would even invite student representatives to meet him for discussions when these students are subsequently hauled before the University of Malaya Senate for punishment for breach of student discipline for the very same action.
I call on Abdullah not to allow the ember of his "constructive engagement" with university students to die out so quickly and he should personally intervene to stop the University of Malaya Senate from instituting disciplinary actions against student protestors during his visit to University of Malaya last week.