Thursday, March 10, 2016

Barring speakers stunts students’ growth, PKR Youth tells varsities

Universities must stop barring speakers critical of the government as this will only stunt students' growth, says PKR Youth vice-chief Fahmi Fadzil. He said universities were supposed to be a platform for students to be exposed to different ideas. "Unfortunately, the university administrators' behaviour is an abuse to their own students, because it is as if they are denying that differences in ideas and voices exist in today's society. "Such behaviour will only prevent the minds of our youth from maturing," said Fahmi in a statement, responding to the moves to prevent debate champion Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman to speek at several public universities. Yesterday, he hit out at the Higher Education Ministry after being barred from speaking 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", to be held tomorrow, but was told that he was barred at the event. The final-year student of International Islamic University Malaysia said the excuse given was that "it was not under the jurisdiction of the ministry". Syed Saddiq was also 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. Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh has denied interference, saying universities had the autonomy to decide on speakers on their premises. – March 11, 2016.]]>

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