Education Minister Maszlee Malik has advised Universiti Malaya Student Union vice-president Yap Wen Qing to meet with the vice-chancellor (VC) to air his grievances.
Maszlee has urged Yap to meet with vice-chancellor Abdul Rahim Hashim to voice the students’ displeasure over his alleged racist remarks at the Malay Dignity Congress instead of issuing press statements.
He added that the ministry will not take any action against Yap, who issued a statement yesterday demanding Rahim’s resignation.
“We’re not in the Barisan Nasional era. That is Yap’s opinion, and my suggestion is to meet the vice-chancellor himself and convey their unhappiness directly,” Maszlee told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
“I believe the vice-chancellor is open enough to hear the views of students, and I urge the students to meet him.”
Rahim had given a speech at the congress which Yap alleged had racist elements.
He had reportedly said the transition of federal power in general election last year had reduced Malay dominance in politics and that Malay rights had been challenged.
Yap had said the speech was not the only issue, adding that Rahim had failed to resolve financial and welfare problems faced by UM students, as well as unable to unite the students.
“The Student Affairs Department, which he leads, forced all residential colleges to send their Malay students to the congress,” Yap said.
“We ask all political leaders who made racist remarks during the Malay Dignity Congress to apologise to all Malaysians. We also urge the vice-chancellor of UM to resign for his racist behaviour and his failure in running the campus.”
The congress was organised by Universiti Malaya’s Malay Excellence Studies Centre, in collaboration with UiTM, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Sultan Idris Education University.
Many quarters, including DAP veteran and MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang and former higher education minister Khaled Nordin, have questioned the role of public universities in organising such an event.
Organiser Zainal Kling had said the congress was organised in response to certain quarters challenging Malay rights and privileges.
Meanwhile, an online petition has been started, calling for the resignation of the vice-chancellors of the four universities involved in the congress.
Earlier report: Oct 8, Calls for UM Vice-Chancellor to Resign over Alleged Racist Remark