MKini readers back columnist who brands UiTM “apartheid academy” as fumed UMNO Youth head seeks apology

AS enraged UMNO Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh sought apology while calling on his wing members nationwide to lodge police reports against Malaysiakini and its columnist Andrew Sia, subscribers of the paid news portal backed the publication of Sia’s commentary entitled “Our Apartheid Academy, UiTM”.

This came about at the Merlimau state assemblyman has “strongly urged” Malaysiakini to pull down the said article which condemned Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and wanted Sia to apologise immediately.

“For being foul mouth, UMNO Youth is mobilising all its members to lodge a police report on Malaysiakini and Sia … so we want an apology from Sia, Malaysiakini to pull down the article lest we see you guys in court,” lambasted Akmal on his Facebook page.

“UiTM is the only education centre catering specifically to the Bumiputera. All other higher learning institutions are open to all races. We have been independent for decades but the sad fact is that Bumiputera are still lagging behind. This is the only place for Bumiputera to change their destiny.”

But Akmal’s rogue demeanour did not augur well with Malaysiakini subscribers who mostly rallied behind Sia. Vijay47 went on to describe Sia who was the former environment editor at The Star as being “rather gentlemanly” when he referred to UiTM as an “apartheid academy”.

Going by the pathetic antics of the students, staff and supporters of that body, I would describe it as an ‘extremist educational establishment’, keeping in touch with Andrew’s use of alliteration.”

As long as national funds are employed for national aims, the non-Malays cannot be left out of the equation. After all, it is money essentially provided by us that you now shamelessly demand be used to meet your “solely for Malays” purposes.

Another subscriber FellowMalaysian opined that Sia should be praised and eulogised rather than condemned as suggested by Akmal or his acolytes in his concern shown for the non-Malays who have been deprived of their rightful places in the many public tertiary institutions, in particular at UiTM given its total ban against non-Bumiputera student intake.

UiTM went one step further in its apartheid policies when the college accepts foreign students in all its courses but refused to accept nary a single Chinese or Indian.

While UiTM is a public college funded totally by the government through taxes collected from chiefly the Chinese as attested by Mahathir, it is hypocritical for Akmal to draw parity with SJKCs and SKJTs (Chinese and Tamil national type primary schools) because these schools accept Malay students besides Chinese and Indians and they are funded mainly by private concerns and individuals.

Subscriber GreenPony8193 summed up the polemic best by contending that there is no doubt that “UiTM is an apartheid and racist institution” for it “can see only skin colour even when it comes to saving lives”.

“Like we said, you can keep UiTM to yourself. We don’t want to be infected with your brand of racism and certainly will not send our kids to get sewer quality education there.” – May 23. 2024

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