Interns in Malaysia are often times treated as ‘kulis’ or slaves that do the menial work that no one else wants to do, such as make coffee and handle the printing. They also always either get paid as little as possible or none at all.
This needs to change as an internship is meant to guide them in their industry before they enter the work force. And for the work that they put in, they deserve to be paid better.
MUDA President and Muar MP Syed Saddiq has supposedly been denied entry into Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) for a discussion with the students there in regards to the treatment of interns, titled ‘ Intern Bukan Buruh Percuma’ or ‘Interns Are Not Free Labour’.
The Mahasiswa Demokratik Twitter page shared sad news, “SYED SADDIQ CANNOT ENTER UiTM”.
“UiTM has informed that they are not allowing the organisation of the ‘Interns Are Not Free Labour’ dialogue for the reason of maintaining campus harmony and also to focus on the spiritual programs for the month of Ramadhan.”
They shared how the motion to disallow the event is an overall regressive move and urged students to participate either way
“This matter is not at all in line with the efforts of the Higher Education Ministry (KPT) and the university to be more open to healthy discussions among students. We call on students to come to Dataran Cendekiawan on March 30, 2023 at 10pm. Universities belong to students, and discussion programs especially involving the welfare of students should not be restricted,” they added.
This move can also be seen as an act against the abolishment of the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (AUKU), which not only suppresses and blocks the voices of students from criticising and speaking out, but it also gives absolute power to politicians to determine the administration in all universities in Malaysia.
But wait, that’s not all. UiTM has since also decided to ‘close’ their premises for today from 9pm until tomorrow at 6am, allegedly due to technical problems.
This didn’t sit well with many who took to social media to condemn UiTM for their actions
“As usual, they came up with the most absurd reason to stop our Jelajah Mansuh AUKU (Cancel AUKU tour) from taking place. Technical problems? Out of all days, today UiTM is having this issue.”
“This is truly a mental problem. Stupid UiTM, interns are languishing in life as your servants and you don’t even care.”
What do you think? Should universities have the right to shut down events and discussions among students?
Do feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.
Also read: Calling All Uni Students! Here’s What You Need To Know About AUKU & Why It Needs To Be Stopped