Thursday, August 27, 2015


27/08/2015 01:34 PM

Former IIUM president would have approved GST forum 

Sanusi Junid says he would have even attended the debate himself and sent a better representative from Umno to take on Rafizi Ramli

KUALA LUMPUR: Former International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) president Sanusi Junid said he would have approved a controversial GST forum at the university in May this year and even attended the debate himself if he were still in charge then.

Sanusi, a keen debater himself during his student days, said he would have given his consent upon receipt of an appeal by the organisers, if the Student Affairs Department had rejected the application.

But Sanusi said he would take the necessary disciplinary action not amounting to dismissal against those who organised forums at the campus without the consent of the authorities.
He told Berita Daily this when asked on the one-year suspension meted out to two members of the IIUM Student Representative Council (SRC) for organising the controversial GST forum, which featured Umno's Lokman Adam and PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli.

Following a last-minute change of venue, the forum started with Lokman speaking for about 15 minutes but Pandan MP Rafizi was stopped by campus security about eight minutes into his speech, ostensibly because the organisers did not have permission to hold the event. A representative from the Customs Department was supposed to have attended the forum on May 13 but did not show up.

Sanusi added that he would have sent a better representative than 'bad loser' Lokman, knowing that the opposition would be represented by someone of Rafizi's stature.

“Being an Umno member who likes debating, I would have been present at the forum and I would not have allowed a low-calibre representative from Umno if I know that the opposition's representative is a smart guy,” he said.

“Lokman himself should have checked who was going to be his opponent before he accepted the responsibility of defending the unpopular GST. Had Lokman been more meticulous he would have known why he should not represent Umno.

“I am informed that Lokman is famous as a bad loser especially when he had the ambition of being upgraded to a higher post in his present JASA department in the Ministry of Information." he said.

Sanusi suspected that the students were suspended because Lokman lost in the debate.

"If illegality was the question then Lokman should not have participated. Had Lokman trounced Rafizi in the debate, similar forums would have been organised somewhere else,” he said.

Earlier this month, SRC president Hanif Mahpa and its academic exco Afiqah Zulkifli were found guilty of organising the forum.

Hanif, however, said he would continue fighting for student activism and academic freedom in local universities despite being suspended for two semesters and issued with a stern warning.

Accepting punishment part of life

When asked if the suspended duo were doing the right thing in pursuing academic freedom, Sanusi said that freedom can be interpreted differently between students and the establishment.

“When students talk of freedom it carries different meanings and interpretations even among themselves and what the establishment interprets the meaning to be. Whatever the meaning, the first responsibility of a student is to his studies.

“However, being able to understand what is happening in one's country and the world, especially for IIUM students, should also be a student's responsibility.

“I have always enjoyed debating and oratory from younger days. As a result I took up reading as a hobby as I did not like losing merely out of lack of reading,” he said.

The duo are given an option to appeal directly to IIUM president Rais Yatim, once the written ground of judgement is made available.

An appeal might result in the suspension period being maintained, reduced or even increased.

Sanusi advised the two not to be unduly worried about the possible consequences of their action in organising the forum.

“I was one of 115 classmates at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) who were caned for organising the 'Dragon Dance' at dawn in 1961 against the headmaster's advice. We were proud about it, and we now have a WhatsApp group in memory. Accepting punishment should be part of life,” he said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Masa naik bas dengar dereba kata kepada pembatunya. Sewa rumah dulu RM500.00 se bulan. Sekarang da naik RM550.00. Macam mana, kata pembntu. Tuan rumah kata naik kena GST 6%. Itu baru RM530.00 sahaja,Kata pembatu. RM20.00 untuk urusan kata dereba.