Thursday, 17 March 2016

Petition Update : Najib menang.

Petition update

Update #4:1.44am, 17/3/2016 (UK Time)

Cassandra Chung
United Kingdom
17 Mar 2016 — Hello, everybody!

Some of you may already know this but it’s best we update all of you supporting the cause here on this petition. On 16 March 2016 at the Nottingham Malaysian Society AGM, the motion compelling the Society to lobby for the portrait of the Prime Minister to be taken down was defeated by an overwhelming majority.

The debate was mostly centred around how this would impact future and current scholars in the Society. At this point, we would like to ask everybody not to pass judgment to the scholars present there; as much as many of us would like to say we would have voted for the motion despite being on a scholarship, the fact of the matter is, we are not in that position.

While we are personally quite disappointed (as most of you probably are), we do hope that at the very least, this whole incident has changed the activism landscape of Malaysian Societies here in the United Kingdom (UK) and Eire.

We hope this petition and the way Nottingham Malaysian Society responded to it affirms that it is okay to discuss these issues in a mature manner, it is okay to challenge- or attempt to challenge- the status quo. To all Malaysian Societies out there who refrain from hosting Government or Opposition speakers on your campuses on the premise of “neutrality”, I hope this whole incident has shown you that you don’t have to do that anymore, there is nothing to be afraid of. Remember, you have the backing of your respective Student Unions’ (SUs) should anything threaten your society being a safe space for discussion.

Nothing is “too sensitive” for your members to think, discuss and/or debate in a mature manner. We are after all paying thousands of pounds not just to get a degree but also to learn and explore new experiences that are perhaps, not entirely available back home.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Nottingham Malaysian Society for going the extra mile to create a safe space for members to voice their opinions and concerns on the matter with as little fear of repercussions as possible. Kudos as well to the University of Nottingham’s SU who assisted the Malaysian Society in this endeavor by offering your full support for the debate to take place and facilitating the creation of a safe space for all members.

We most certainly hope this is not the end of an sort of activism among Malaysian students in UK. Who knows? Maybe this whole incident has sparked some crazy first-year kid’s inner passion in this field; we certainly hope so anyway. As aforementioned, maybe this whole incident is but a small step in changing the entire student activism landscape among Malaysians in the UK and Eire.

Only time will tell.

Signing off for the last time here,

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