Non-Malays in UiTM?  

Posted by Kamelia

Students adamant on keeping status quo 

SHAH ALAM: UiTM is for Bumiputeras -- that's the strong message from more than 5,000 Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) students to Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim. 

They marched to the Selangor State Secretariat to hand over a memorandum of protest over Abdul Khalid's suggestion that UiTM reserve 10 per cent of places to non-Bumiputeras and foreigners. 

Led by UiTM student body president Luqmann Ulhakim Mohamad Idris, the students gathered at the UiTM field before heading to Dataran Shah Alam at 7.30am.

They then marched 500 metres to Bangunan Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah, singing the university song UiTM di Hatiku' while carrying banners and placards with various declarations -- "Jangan Rampas Hak Kami" (Do not seize our rights), "Selamatkan UiTM"' (Save UiTM) and "UiTM di Hatiku"' (UiTM in our hearts). The students, however, did not see Abdul Khalid as he was at a meeting elsewhere. 

Luqmann was not allowed into Abdul Khalid's office to submit the memorandum, and the situation became quite tense. 
Finally, the memorandum was handed over to the menteri besar's news officer Hasril Abu Hassan who met the students at the security booth.

Luqmann said the state government's statement showed that they intended to to politicise UiTM to gain votes from non-Malays in the Permatang Pauh by-election on Aug 26.

In Petaling Jaya, Abdul Khalid said he was willing to meet UiTM representatives to discuss the demands listed in their seven-page memorandum -- but only after the Permatang Pauh by-election.

He told reporters after the state Budget Dialogue 2009 yesterday that he would discuss with the students their memorandum to avoid any misunderstanding.


I am a former UiTM student. In fact, I will be graduating from there in a few months time. Coming from the background that I am in, I found it strange and weird initially that everywhere I turned in campus, it was all Malays. I am used to having non-Malay friends. Not because it's a preference. It's simply something that happens. 

These students may think that they are being given their rights as Bumiputras, and it's their right to be in that prestigious University. Fact is, education is a right to everyone who wants to pursue it, regardless of race or religion. More so, when there are many other students who are non-Malays who WANT to study. Who WANT to excel. Rather than keeping a small percentage of Malay students in campus who are simply there for the ride. Because fees are cheap (RM450 per semester) and they are bored. I personally know such students. 

It pains me, because I have friends who have had to struggle to get their education. Some who are far poorer than the large percentage of UiTM students who come to class in their own cars and bikes. While some of my friends have had to scrimp and save every cent to enroll themselves in private universities. 

I'm am not an apathetic Malay. I am proud to be one. I believe in Malay rights. Especially where land is concerned (Tanah Rizab Melayu). But being the daughter of two teachers, I am fully aware of the implications of having the right education. And tertiary education is no longer a luxury for the few. It's a necessity for one to live. (In Malaysia anyway)

Having non-Malays on campus in UiTM should be the least of these students' worries. After being too used to the all Malay environment, and then stepping into the multi-racial working world, can they adapt? Can they accept other people? Or do they stand in a corner with other Malay workers, happily making fun of the other non-Malays? Or do they rise to the occasion? Many don't. They choose to do the former. 

Let's not jump the gun, and react in such a manner (as Malays often do). Listen first to what our MB has to say. Education for never a bad idea. 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 and is filed under , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .



i agree with u and MB

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