Muda-affiliated student group chides UiTM vice-chancellor, says organisers already applied to host cancelled dialogue

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Student group Ikatan Mahasiswa Demokratik Malaysia today chided Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Roziah Mohd Janor for claiming that it did not submit an application to host a dialogue session that was blocked by the university this week.

The student movement’s central executive council in a statement denied Roziah's statement to the press saying so and accused her of trying to defame the organisers, saying that a letter was sent to UiTM's management prior to the vent.

“The vice chancellor's claim is contrary to what happened, because we have sent a letter to the UiTM management,” Mahasiswa Demokratik said.

“This allegation is also very one-sided because the vice chancellor's office has not only denied the students' right to dialogue peacefully, but has even defamed us.”

The student group affiliated with Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) said that UiTM had no problem approving the application and no issue was raised after it sent the documents applying to hold the dialogue session.

It also said that a letter has been sent to the vice-chancellor’s office on March 27 to notify the university's top officials of the event.

“However, on March 28, 2023, we received a reply from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs stating that the application was rejected due to wanting to focus on spiritual activities and wanting to maintain campus harmony.

“In the reply letter, there was no direct notification that our application did not follow UiTM procedures,” it added.

Earlier this week, UiTM blocked the hosting of a dialogue session by Mahasiswa Demokratik titled “Interns are not Forced Labour” which was part of a tour calling for the abolishment of the Universities and University Colleges Act (Auku) 1971.

Muda president Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman was slated to appear as a guest.

In response, Muda members and students protest by carrying red flags and wearing armbands torn from red cloth as a peaceful protest at the main gates of the university as Syed Saddiq negotiated with UiTM staff for 20 minutes, resulting in an agreement to hold the dialogue session after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Prior to that, UiTM warned its students against participating in the dialogue session as students were only allowed to participate in programmes on-campus that have the university’s approval.