Those are some pretty strong words by the student groups!
Seven Malaysian university-based groups recently released a joint statement expressing their dismay at the expression of support given by 222 PhD holders to the declaration of emergency issued by the government. As reported by Malaysiakini, these student groups include:
- Universiti Malaya Students’ Union (KMUM)
- Demokrat Universiti Malaya
- Gerakan Pembebasan Akademik (GPA)
- Harmoni Malaysia
- Angkatan Mahasiswa UM
- University of Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany)
Previously, the Pertubuhan Intelektual Negara (Pintar) which comprises of 222 PhD holders gave their full support to the proclamation of a state of emergency. Pintar president, Mohd Roslan Mohd Nor also said that all parties must not question the decision of darurat because the Covid-19 situation is at a critical level and there was indeed a need for an emergency based on Article 150(1) of the Federal Constitution.
However, the student groups found the statement given out by Pintar as alarming and promoting a sense of academic elitism. According to the joint statement by the student groups, the support expressed by Pintar has introduced a division of those with academic doctoral degrees to that with lesser or no academic credentials.
They claim that Pintar has seemingly ‘flexed’ their intellectual superiority over other Malaysians on the basis of possessing a PhD qualification. The student groups also alluded to these PhD holders’ culture of ‘suka bodek’ for career advancement, saying:
“PhD holders working as academicians carry the heavy burden as bearers of the torch of hope based upon knowledge and the job of academicians is not to curry favour in exchange for promotions and career advancement,”
They further questioned Pintar’s motives and reminded them that academics should produce feasible solutions on how to best propel our nation’s economy during this emergency because Parliament is not allowed to convene. Furthermore, they also iterated that Pintar should be advocating for the people of Malaysia and not our country’s politicians.
The statement ends with a call for unity,
“Let us all work together, hand in hand across all divides, to find solutions beneficial to everyone.”
What do you guys think of these student groups’ statement? Do they have a point? Or are they causing even more division themselves? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
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