The Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said that the Ministry has no plans to standardize the guidelines to be used by the universities.
He said that this is a right decision as the Students’ Parliament will act as a platform for the university, especially the students to put forward original ideas and proposals.
He added that this is in line with the objective to produce mature and accomplished undergraduates who will be able to voice their opinions without fear as long as these views do not touch on issues that will have a negative impact on any party.
“We will also not curb the students if they wish to discuss politics and other issues as they are mature enough to make informed decisions.If they can think wisely and intelligently enough to set up a Students’ Parliament, I believe they are also capable of evaluating what issues ought to be debated,” he said.
He said this after receiving a memorandum for the setting up of the Students’ Parliament from the President of the Student Representative Council (MPP), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Mohammad Shafiq Abdul Aziz here, today. Also present were USM Vice-Chancellor, Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Development), Prof. Omar Osman.
Datuk Saifuddin stressed that the Ministry is constantly working towards enhancing the involvement of undergraduates to debate and put forward suggestions for knowledge enculturation, growth of leadership values and public speaking.
Speaking on the output that can be obtained from the setting up of the Students’ Parliament, he said that the ministry is not rejecting the possibility of studying the outcomes of the debate more closely.
He added that with the setting up of the Students’ Parliament, he believed that new and fresh ideas from the students will be heard, in line with the concept of people first, performance now.
Meanwhile, Tan Sri Dzulkifli stressed that USM hopes to see its students conduct debates courteously and look into important issues for their future and also for the future of the university.
He said that in the USM agenda to ensure the success of the Accelerated Programme for Excellence (APEX), there was a great deal that needed to be done and which required the involvement of all parties including students.
“If possible, let issues like politics be discussed by others and undergraduates, especially USM students should look into more important matters for the common good. In USM’s case, the APEX agenda is of utmost importance and needs to be given priority. We hope that the students will give constructive input to ensure that the APEX agenda comes to fruition,” he said.