Saturday, March 17, 2007

Stifling Students at the LSE and Cambridge

I gravitate between feeling amused and frustrated when I see the Malaysian Students Department (MSD) overseas going out of their way to stifle Malaysia students abroad. Its latest attempt was to try to forcefully dissuade Malaysian student organizations at the LSE and Cambridge to pull out from organizing (or co-organizing) talks held by former Deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim.

You won't find this reported in any of the Malaysian newspapers. I was alerted about this by a fellow blogger and special assistant to Anwar, Nik Nazmi. You can read the full details here. I somehow fail to understand what the MSD in the UK hopes to achieve by 'pressuring' these student organizations. Will it make it less likely that any students who already intended to attend Anwar's talk would suddenlydecide not to go at the MSD's insistence? I think better of LSE and Cambridge students (hopefully, I'm not proven wrong). Will it make it more likely that the talks by Anwar will be cancelled? Not likely if he's been invited by the university and not the Malaysian student organizations situated in these universities.

The mentality underlying this sort of action also requires questioning. Does the MSD somehow hope to 'shield' our poor, influential and weak minded Malaysian students in the UK from falling under the 'evil spell' of opposition politicians and thoughts of wanting a more democratic and open Malaysia? Should the MSD also ban Malaysian students and student organizations from attending talks by other current and former dissidents such as Nelson Mandela or Jose Ramos Horta?

This kind of action taken by the MSD comes across as futile, silly and immature. The cynic in me says that they should not be overly worried about Malaysian students abroad getting 'influenced' by opposition sentiments. Because, the system can always 'co-opt' these individuals when they return to Malaysia.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am not a government scholar, neither are the societies funded by the government. So screw the government.....

Anonymous said...

“Problematic kids in high school don’t come to school anymore, but in middle school they still show up”...
Bring back the cane before our schools become like those in the US

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/17/education/17middle.html

Anonymous said...

in some sense, the pig-vernment is very childish. why lump education and pig-litics together? most of the time those educated are smart enough not to put their leg in pig-litics, unless they are really concern about the future of the country. only those who can't study play pig-litics. what they are doing only enraged the educated and in turn place themselves into resistances by the professionals. if these piggies are smart enough, they should just take care of their own stomach and stop interfering in educations. obviously they are too stu-pig to think rationally. what a pig-ty our country is, being led by pig-brains. go and concentrate on the upcoming general pig-lection will you?

from
a pig-duct of pig-culture.

dulcinea said...

It's not just LSE and Cambridge. All over UK, all government and government-linked sponsored scholars have been strictly warned not to attend the talks at the cost of losing their scholarships.

At the same time, UMNO London says nothing of their younger and more impressionable members attending these talks (and I know of those who did). So why the double standards?

Personally, having run a Malaysian society before - we just try not to advertise these talks so as not to court trouble with the MSD.

freethinker said...

This is small issue... have ye heard the one that they withdrew a scholarship from a Korean U and it involves Najib ?

Check Susan Loone