Nov 24, 2008

UPM Bintulu Campus Revisited

Perhaps this will be my first time revealing my ups and downs as an MPP. It was during my previous meeting with UPM Bintulu Student Leaders when I was addressed all the problems faced by the students. The situation that night was crucial, it was as if the students were powerless. On the other hand, certain officers reminded me that the students are young as they are in their diploma, thus immature. However claims from both sides, I was skeptical and would not pass down judgement on anyone.

The problems were every problems faced by the students in the main campus at Serdang. From lack of academic equipments to beauracracy problems to student-officer relationship, as much as we the students in Serdang had, the Bintulu students shared similarities.

This time around I made it a point to cut the whole trip like the previous MPP did as changing it into a 2 days, one night working trip, tightly packed with schedules and meetings and only my SU and I were involved. It was strictly business. Nothing personal.

As usual, it was my job as an MPP to address the problems faced by the students. I was elected, appointed according to the laws drafted in the Malaysian parliament and I act according to my provision. Should I stop addressing the problems faced by students, then when do you call me? A puppet? Nay. Nay will my reign our team be called puppets. Be it anyone, I execute my duties be it hatred comes apart as it is my responsibility.

But I was shocked. Bintulu at this time is a no critism land. It was as if it was not right when I started discussing with the officers and deputy deans on problems faced by students. We look for discussions and solutions. Even I myself made it a habit, should I do wrong, I apologize and be it. Solve it. Not find other reasons or find people to put the blame. It was as if there was room to voice your opinions but no room for solutions.

But again I was wrong. It was not the ‘deputy dean’’s fault. It was another problem with organization. Political and positional power made them become such.

And again another surprise occured. During my way back we paid a visit to the ‘acting dean’, which so happened to be the deputy dean of academic in Bintulu. I must say I was insulted. How could such a question being directed upon me saying “who gave me the permission to come to Bintulu?”. I replied, look at the Vice Chancellor’s letter, we are here approved and endorsed. And yet she replied sarcasticly saying that I came into the house and did not paid a visit to the master.

One thing crossed my mind. Between the administrators and our MPP, we had always shared good relations with all, be it pengetua of the seventeen colleges, TNC, VC and Deans even with the previous Board of Directors Chairman. We believe students and officers come hand in hand in university development just like wat Dato’ Nik Mustapha said to me when I asked on the student’s contribution in UPM’s APEX plan. He replied by assuring us that students were vital and important plus the other TNCs supported that with their explaination. It was none other for the betterment of UPM. But we just couldn’t believe my ears when this lady treated our goodwill gesture with total disgrace and disrespect.

Was it fear? Most probably. I heard too many gossips about our trip coming down here to the campus. Nonetheless, as far as I was concerned, I was doing my job. U can flame me now, but you have to remember that in the next 20 years, we will be inheriting the leadership of the country.

Such are the challenges for student leaders. And lesson for those in the future. As for my future successors in MPP, remember that Jawatankuasa Kebajikan Pelajar UPM is already in full fledged operation under AUKU. Chaired by the members of Board of Directors, all student problems should be addressed. The next YDP should be addressed as stated in the clause as ahli Pihak Berkuasa Universiti. Not your seek permission to come to your place.

So ‘watch out’. Either be diplomatic, sit down and discuss it together, or get a show cause letter from your superiors.

Such is life when we are getting things accomplished with intellectual discourse, flamed by hatred or afraid of losing face to their superiors.

A glimpse of my life as a student leader. Sigh.

(from = (Yang Dipertua MPP UPM 07/08) )