Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Barred from speaking yet again, debate champion slams ministry

For the third time this week, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has been barred again from speaking at a public university, this time at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas). The 23-year-old former inter-varsity debate champion said the talk, "The art of speaking up – our patriotic duty", was to be held on Saturday, but he was told that he was barred at the event. "I am once again barred from giving a talk at a local university. Why third ban within a week?" asked the final-year student of International Islamic University Malaysia. He said the excuse given was that "it was not under the jurisdiction of the ministry". On his Facebook, Syed Saddiq said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh "should be protecting the students, not the prime minister of Malaysia". "I expected the minister of higher education, YB Idris Jusoh to speak up for the rights of students, instead he brushed the issue aside. "I've learnt something new today. The ministry will use me as long as it benefits them. When it doesn't, they will distance themselves. "When we win debate competitions and give Malaysia a good name, they say 'this is the product of our public universities! Credits to MOHE. "But when I am prevented from speaking, the excuse they give is it is not under the jurisdiction of the ministry. "When you succeed, it's the ministry's achievement. When you get blocked by speaking in universities, which are under MOHE's jurisdiction, it's suddenly not under their jurisdiction," he said. Syed Saddiq was barred from speaking at Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten) and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (Usim) earlier this week. The Uniten event was cancelled while the Usim programme was postponed. The former Perdana Fellow has emerged as a critic of Najib, recently founding the youth group Challenger, which issued its first statement rejecting the prime minister's leadership. Last October, he wrote a scathing Facebook post against Najib, describing the prime minister as a "national disgrace". Syed Saddiq was the emcee at the launch of the Citizens' Declaration and the Save Malaysia movement initiated by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad last Friday, and became the youngest signee of the declaration. Idris has meanwhile said universities were given autonomy by the ministry to decide on speakers on their premises. – March 10, 2016.]]>

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