Musa Mohamad commended for his enlightened statement that all universities should encourage their students to take part in cultural activities 

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): Yesterday, the Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad said that all  universities in the country encourage their students to participate in cultural activities to enhance the  dignity and culture of the race.

He said the students were free to organise culture-related activities and there was no  reason for the universities to disallow them without valid grounds.

The Education Minister must be commended for making such an enlightened statement which should be the policy guideline  for all local university administrators as far as student cultural activities are concerned.

From Musaís statement, the first by the Education Minister on the issue after three weeks of the controversy over the UTM ban on the holding of a Chinese New Year exhibition, it  is clear that the UTM vice chancellor Datuk Dr. Ahmad Zaharuddin had failed to act in accordance with such an enlightened policy guideline when he refused to approve the holding of the Chinese New Year exhibition in the UTM campus during the Chinese New Year last month.

Student organisers had also complained of the UTM administrationís discouragement of their cultural activities, saying that the UTM is a technology university and not a culture university.

It is probably asking too much under the present university and political culture to expect  the UTM authorities to admit that they had made a mistake, but the people are entitled to know the result of the investigation conducted by the Education Ministry into the uproar.

At the end of last month, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim said the  Higher Education Department of the Education Ministry had been directed to investigate  the matter.

Hon should explain what has happened to this investigation,  who had conducted the investigation or was there no investigation whatsoever and his announcement was just an empty P.R. (public relations) exercise?


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman