LETTER | After 40 years, history was made by our Minister of Education, Maszlee Malik when he initiated amendments to the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA) following a huge request from fellow students all over Malaysia.
The amendments were specifically towards abolishing the rules refraining students from being involved in politics on campus as listed in Section 15(2) (C) UUCA 1971.
For those who are uninformed, most of the public universities held their campus elections recently to select the members of their student representative councils.
Every year, the election was conducted by the university’s Student Affairs Division. However, this time around, there was a change! For instance, the elections at Universiti Malaya (UM) was solely conducted by students through their Campus Election Committee (CEC).
The CEC aims to reform the varsity’s rules and regulations. CEC president Vanessa Eunice Scully mentioned that their aim was to run the elections as smoothly as possible in a democratic way. I would say that it was a success and even though there was a few hits and misses, the elections still came to a good end and the results were obtained.
Besides UM, other public universities also had their elections conducted by their own students but with the guidance from the Student Affairs Divisions.
Every public university will have these elections and each candidate will have to compete in a healthy manner to get attention and be voted for. The candidates will have to present their manifestos and get as many people as possible to understand their stance on improving issues and situations at their respective universities.
From my point of view, healthy competition like this is needed to promote empowerment, leadership and responsibility among the students. This is a great training ground for students to learn the concept of politics. After all, students who are interested in politics can realise their higher potential like our Minister of Youth and Sports, Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman.
We know that the younger generation has brilliant ideas for reforming the country and help in the growth of Malaysia. Joining politics on campus will serve as a platform for them to speak out on those ideas and further the agenda.
Some people out there are totally against the idea of student politics and do not want any sort of politics involved on campus. What they seem to miss is the fact that campus politics is a training ground for students to really understand and develop their awareness.
Politics is the bridge to change the community and the world, hence it is very important to know where we stand in our political perspective and what we can contribute in order to build a better nation.
Therefore, let’s take this opportunity to utilise our full potential as students to bring about change in the community, to be good leaders and responsible politicians.
Remember, change is possible because of our vote. Change has opened up many opportunities for students to explore their political perspective and ideology.
Thank you Minister Maszlee for educating us on the importance of independence because in the real world, out of the campus, we are part of the politics and we students are responsible for the political stance of the country.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.