Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dyana: a Testimony of UiTM’s Success or Failure?

‘Why are young Malays abandoning UMNO?’ was a question posted by Lim Kit Siang…err..I mean, Yasmin Disney, in a write-up that was published by Malaysian Insider recently. In short, Kit Siang..opps.., Yasmin, concludes that the answer to the question is ‘racial politics’.

Based on DAP Teluk Intan’s by-election candidate, Dyana Sofea’s own words , Yasmin (ah..I typed it right this time) highlighted the following factors:

1. racial politics was nothing but a scam
2. racial model is nothing but a means for power-hungry leaders to stay in power
3. old Umno, lead by Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak, simply no longer exists
4. pervasive culture of corruption and nepotism that benefits the already privileged and further alienates the poor
5. rich children of Umno leaders were admitted into UiTM while poorer but more qualified non-Umno linked families were shut out
6. equality, justice and human rights are of fundamental importance to young people

Hmm…I must compliment Yasmin for having the same flair of writing as Kit Siang’s (they both just cannot leave Tun Mahathir alone. The article mentioned ‘the Tun’ twice even when there is really no need to) which is why I keep mis-typed ‘Yasmin’ as ‘Kit Siang’.

Since Dyana’s mother was an UMNO Divisional Secretary, Dyana must be talking about herself when she mentioned ‘rich UMNO children’ and ‘nepotism’ and ‘the already privileged’ as reasons for her losing faith in UMNO.

Well, I don’t know what to say about this except that Dyana must be the biggest idiot for condemning her own self. She seems to be totally unaware that what DAP is trying to make her do is confess that she is not credible and that her qualification is not based on merit. In fact, Kit Siang specifically wrote in his blog that Dyana is a ‘testimony of UiTM’s chancellor’s failure!’

It is as if, DAP is parading Dyana around, saying “look, this is how stupid a UiTM graduate is”.

Of course, not everyone who enters university will become wise and intelligent. Dyana is obviously one of the few defect products of UiTM, while thousand others succeed. In fact, Dyana is such a total failure that she couldn’t even recognize an insult by her own boss.

If anybody had alienated the poor and taken advantage of their privilege as UMNO member to enter UiTM then it is the fault of that ‘anybody’ himself and neither the University nor UMNO should be blamed.

Obviously, Dyana’s mother is the ‘anybody’ that Dyana is referring to. Therefore, should Dyana need to condemn ‘anybody’ for the unfairness then she must first condemn her mother for using her privilege as UMNO member to put her daughter through UiTM.

For Dyana’s information, there are about 50 employees altogether at my workplace and around 12 of them are Malays. Among these Malays, 5 of them are UiTM graduates and none of them are from a privileged family. One told me that his family once survived on some sort of ‘program for the poor’ (PPRT or something, I didn’t really get it). Another one is the first child of the first Felda generation. The other three were from ordinary, middle class to lower income family. Oh yes, I can sense that one of them, at least, is not pro-government because he is very vocal about it. It seems that his parents are hard-core opposition supporter.

But let me tell you this; they are all as capable, or more capable than those graduated from Sunway University or Taylor’s College. I must say that I am very satisfied with their work so far.

So how would Dyana explain them?

I understand that UiTM has about 400,000 students all over Malaysia. And Kit Siang, Dyana, Yasmin or whatever…. is telling us that they are all ‘children of rich UMNO members’. I wonder just how many children does an UMNO member have? And they are all in UiTM? And they are all rich? Then the Malays must have represented the highest taxpayers in the country. No?

Dyana claims to be a lawyer, though that is debatable. Anyway, we all know that lawyers aren’t good at mathematics and figures but lawyers should know that all arguments must be based on facts and figures, evidence and witness, motives and alibis. For instance, you don’t simply say that everybody in my company is pro-opposition by referring to one person’s opinion. You don’t go around saying that UiTM is being unfair to the poor just because you want to impress your Chinese boss.

You have to quote a figure, a statistics, a percentage…a ratio..or something to back up your argument and present the evidence. If you cannot, then you are not fit to argue, what more to contest a by-election and represent the people!

I agree with Kit Siang or Yasmin, that the root of the problem is racial politics: UiTM helps the poor Malays to further study and get them ready to stand as tall as other races and DAP doesn’t like it. DAP wants Malays to stay poor and uneducated.

UiTM wouldn’t be a problem to DAP should it failed to produce good quality graduates but unfortunately for DAP, is didn’t fail.

You see, it is the Malays that is the problem and that is why DAP has no problem with the vernacular schools but only feels agitated with UiTM because vernacular schools don’t produce racists, it just produced stupid DAP members.


  1. Thanks for your blog post. It's Yasmin (or Kit Siang, as you put it..not sure what you were trying to suggest by comparing us) here.

    I don't mean to suggest that UiTM is made up entirely of the children of rich UMNO members; as you attest with the example of your workplace, this isn't the case at all. But I think there are enough offspring of UMNO members there for the issue to merit discussion and I don't think we can dismiss Dyana's experiences either - she says that while at UiTM she noticed a number of students from privileged families or with connections who received places, while others who may have needed it more didn't. Extrapolating from this, it's symptomatic of a more pervasive issue in Malaysia - affirmative action policies designed to help poor Malays aren't reaching the Malays who need it most. Instead it's often (not always) abused by richer Malays who don't necessarily need it. That's the larger point I was trying to make anyway, using UiTM as an example. And this is why I think government financial assistance should be means-tested, not race based.

    But you're right, I do think we need facts and figures regarding UiTM admissions and the incomes of students' families. Unfortunately, these are hard to come by because not everybody wants to submit to transparent admission processes/they hard to implement. I think it's unfair to suggest DAP wants Malays to stay poor and uneducated. That's definitely not what I want - what I want is transparency and equal opportunities for all.

    Lastly, I agree with you that Dyana herself has benefited from being Malay/having an UMNO member for her mother. I'm not sure that's grounds to call her stupid or question her qualifications as a lawyer? Again, like I mentioned in my article, plenty of young (richer) Malays recognise they benefit from a system that privileges them. I don't think it's stupid of her to now say she finds the system unfair and maybe wants to change - she has come to that realisation through her own experience at university and we don't have the right to dismiss or invalidate that experience.

    1. Hey Yasmin,
      I appreciate your trying to make a point.

      We all have the rights to have opinions on everything - including Dyana. :)

      Thanks for dropping by.

    2. I'm a Malay who graduated from UITM. Furthermore, I also went to MARA's Junior Science College (equivalent to public secondary school). I came from a poor family. 99.9% of my friends in UITM and MARA jr science college were from working class family who came from kampung. You people who are so used to be using poor people as an excuse to spread your political agenda might not believe it if I say my father only had a salary of RM200 back in 2004 when I was still in college. That was all the whole family had to lived off. My PTPTN loan was used to help my family back home. This was possible because UITM fees are low. So I think the government or whoever it is, must be doing something right, right there. There was no "rich" kids in MARA jr science college, they can't survive life in boarding schools anyway, believe me.

      I studied 5 years in UITM Shah Alam, and to tell you the truth, UITM Shah Alam is filled with students from working class family. You only need to take a look at them to know this. Amongst these people, there are probably only a small percentage of students who can be categorized as coming from "rich" family. These people aren't many and they tend to stick with one another.

      But the "rich" kids I knew didn't come from "UMNO privileged" parents. From what I noticed when I studied there, the rich ones are kids of local celebrities, and there are some kids of leaders of large private companies. I won't name any celebrity or name any private company here (though I'm tempted to) but bottom line is, you need to actually be a part of the institution to know how it is inside there. Quit with the assumptions!

      Stop trying to fool people by saying that you care about the poor. You don't care about the poor, you only care about your race and your political agenda. Once UITM is abolished, you people will go after MARA Junior Science College, and then anything that has "Malay" labels on it while pretending to be doing it all for the poor. Stop it, it disgusts me. Handbags? Mean Girls? Get out of here.