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observer teams by MPs, civil society, National Institute of Integrity and
Suhakam to ensure free, fair and clean student campus elections to build
the foundation for a nation of integrity
Already many complaints have surfaced about intimidation, vote-buying and downright unfair election practices and rules by several university authorities in the run-up to university student elections later this month or in early October.
It is most deplorable that currently the top criteria for the selection of Vice Chancellors and Deputy Vice Chancellors is not scholastic eminence or intellectual leadership but political loyalty, subservience and preparedness by hook or by crook to ensure that “pro-government” students control all student organizations, even if it means a completely submissive and servile student population devoid of critical thought or social awareness.
When the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) was looking for a new President, its University Council Search and Find Committee launched a global search and short-listed 150 candidates before selecting Dr. Su Guaning – who received his early primary education in Muar in 1955. Dr. Su’s selection was unanimously supported by the University Council and also unanimously endorsed by the Academic Board of NTU, where all deans, vice deans, heads of divisions, the upper echelon of the University administration and full professors were members.
This process of searching for the best to be an university Vice Chancellor is totally alien to the Malaysian higher education culture, which operates in a most arbitrary and unacademic fashion, with the Higher Education Minister combing the civil service list for the most “politically loyal and subservient” candidate for the post.
One terrible result is not only low academic standards and morale but the gross abuses and corrupt practices which mar and disgrace university student elections every year.
The head of the Malaysian Integrity Institute, Datuk Dr. Sulaiman Mahbob, said last week that the most meaningful way to celebrate our 48th National Day is to respond to the Prime Minister’s call for towering personalities by transforming Malaysia into “a nation of integrity”.
There are enough words. The time has come to walk the talk.
Let us begin by ensuring that the forthcoming campus student elections in all the public universities are clean, free and fair, so that the universities are the seedbeds for character-building and integrity and not training ground for money politics and crooked deeds.
I call for observer teams by MPs, civil society, the National Institute of Integrity and Suhakam to ensure free, fair and clean student campus elections to build the foundation for a nation of integrity.
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman