Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Great Flaw

This is the original article (with the title) I wrote and sent to Malaysiakini.

You can read the published one here.

I am a second year student in UM. I am writing this to express my discontent over a prevailing issue in Universiti Malaya. I would narrate a recent experience to emphasise my point. Just yesterday, on a Sunday evening, I was pulled over by the security guard at the KL gate. I was told by the guard rudely that if I wanted to go to PJ, I’d have to take a big round instead of passing through UM; even if I’m a student of Universiti Malaya. Right up to here, everything seems fine and the guard seems perfectly justified. But what I’m puzzled over is how random and inconsistent these security checks are; laced with heavy double standards. I understand perfectly that 1st and 2nd year students are not allowed to bring their vehicles into campus in order to reduce the traffic. However, this was never implemented with consistency and most of the time, everyone is allowed to pass through UM without as much as a question. The enactment of this policy was a wrong move to begin with; what more the failed implementation. Administration in UM should understand that they do not have enough places in their residential colleges for everyone to stay in campus. That is why three quarter of 2nd and 3rd year students have to live outside. And not all students staying outside of campus have direct access to public transport to get to class. And so, some of these students enjoy the privilege of having their own cars as a mean of transport. However, now we face another problem. If we’re not allowed to bring our cars into the campus, how are we supposed to get to class? What with the high food and lodging costs of staying outside, now we have to take a taxi to the nearest bus or LRT station every single day to get to UM just because we’re not allowed to bring our cars into campus even though we have one?

I strongly believe that the administration should have thought of this before enacting and implementing ineffective and half the time, inactive policies as such. And because of the inconsistency of the policy’s implementation, students are often confused about the legitimacy of bringing their vehicles into campus. But we still do it anyway out of desperation, and most of the time, we do get away with it. What I suggest here is the eradication of this policy so that students are no longer stopped randomly just because the security guard at the gate feels like it on that particular day or the security guard on shift is a hardworking one who doesn’t slack in upholding the institution’s policies. I believe that UM students, most of the time with the only intent of attending lectures (even for the purpose of bypassing traffic), should be allowed to bring their vehicles into campus and utilise its roads.

With that in light, I also question UM’s policy concerning the public’s use of its gates. Is the public allowed to use the roads in UM or only people who have serious business in UM? I think everyone can agree that every day, a great number of road users utilise the compounds of UM to pass from PJ to KL or vice versa in order to avoid the traffic in Federal Highway. But these people were never stopped; almost all time. Why weren’t these people stopped by the security guard at the gate? Why wasn’t the man driving a Mercedes Benz stopped while I, a student of Universiti Malaya, was stopped and questioned rudely like a criminal? People with nice, collared shirt driving big, expensive cars are allowed to pass from KL to PJ through UM grounds while trendy looking youths driving economical Peroduas have to be questioned and let through with a warning never to use the road again. Isn’t this a display of double standards at its highest?

Therefore, I hope that the administration come up with a clear policy with effective implementation on these two issues: UM students bringing their vehicles into the campus and utilising its roads, and the public use of UM’s roads. ONE, either you stop and question every single person entering UM, allowing students or those with business in UM to pass through, or TWO, you open the roads for public use. I believe the former would be a crazy idea to even be considered as we already have a major traffic jam at both the KL and PJ gates during peak hours in the evening. I hope that this seemingly little but important issue is brought to the attention of people who have the power to do something about it and resolved as soon as possible.

Clarence Choong
2nd year student of UM

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you finally get what u want. The management responded so quickily. Go and check your perdana mail. Your are OFFICIALLY not allowed to drive into the campus anymore. See, you get what u want. They are definitely not gonna be happy with what youve done.

wadefish said...

oh really? what happened to freedom of expression? guess it's suppressed huh? i have my rights as a student and always will stand for those rights. the admin can do what they want.

Henry Yew said...

I think not allowing you to drive into campus is a nut-case, clearly portraying that people who administer your campus hardly have anything in their noggin' and that they would go for the easiest and fastest solution without ever caring for the community that live in it.

After all, is it too hard to open up its facilities for students and staff to use? Ban outsiders from using the roads, I can understand, but stopping students from driving into campus? That's plain selfish, unthoughtful and absurd.

Sure, maybe there are traffic jams here and there. They must deal with it and find a way to resolve it, not just blame it on the heavy traffic volume and put on a "NO DRIVING STUDENTS ALLOWED IN CAMPUS" sort of policy. Come on, UM, you are in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and you expect traffic to be like that of Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (just as an example, OK)? Dream on!

What happened to the highway engineers in there? Aren't there any? Or all sleeping?

I sure am grateful that though my campus imposed lots of absurd policies also, at least they have some sense to let us bring in our own vehicles into campus.

Don't worry Clarence. You won't be in there for long, right? Just hold on!

Guo Zheng

wadefish said...

students' welfare is never quite their top priority. and let me tell you what, this is the least of many more brooding problems in my university but i guess every institution has its flaws. it just takes initiative individuals to point them out instead of staying complacent and contented.

and for this current issue, what's REALLY absurd is not exactly the policy itself (though i dare say that it's quite ridiculous), but rather the implementation of it. the fact that it's random, inconsistent, and carried out with double standards makes us students cross the gate with doubt and a tinge of fear, every single time. it's kinda stupid that students of a university cannot use its facilities. i guess enough has been said in the article. i made my point, so there.

Henry Yew said...

You're not the only one who complained.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/7/17/focus/4333468&sec=focus

the flamingo~ said...

felt sorry for you bro,never realized UM efficiency is deteriorating... you know what to do yea?keep complain till they fed up and abolish the rules..lol..protest for your rights..i'm supporting you.btw say hi to alexis for me =)

weekenglalala~~ said...

hehe.. din expect i folo ur blog ??
nope.. i got keep track..
interesting facts u mentioned..
but they abolish the rules soon after.. i meant soon after they caught u.. wonder wud u did to the guards.. ^o^
peace~~

wadefish said...

henry: yeah, guess everyone's just as frustrated.

flamingo: thanks bro. well, it's a whole new level of politics over here. lecturers vs students. sigh.

weekeng: brother! waa. really didnt expect you to read. i feel touched. haha. yeah they abolished the old policy, and came up with a newer, and even more ridiculous one. really. try umisisweb.um.edu.my, student info. your eyes would pop out.

Belle said...

Thank you for voicing out about this... haha.. *applauds*

it's ridiculous now for us to park at 10th coll... it's crazy far from everyone's faculty... i'm gonna see if tmr, whether the apparent, 'shuttle service' will be of use...

will you still be driving tmr?

wadefish said...

well, no prob. it's just as much as my welfare as any student's. besides 8th and 10th college being ridiculous stop points, damansara gate is also out of the way.

it's just inconvenient to get into the university now; for lectures or whatever. thank goodness my faculty is near intan gate so i can park outside and walk in. that's one problem solved but come friday, PKV, i do not know...

p/s: i wrote the article before i even realised there's this new policy. great university huh? =)

yohanand said...

Organize a protest :P. Think about it..

The Star
Tuesday, 21 Juy 2009

GROUP OF STUDENTS BLOCK ENTRANCE TO UM

A group of UM students demanding to right to bring their cars into UM have organized a sit in in front of the University Malaya front gate. The leader, a certain Clarence Choong, has said that students nt being to park their vehicles on campus is absurd.

This heroic action has..

Result A
.. been given serious thought by the UM admin and they have decided to abolish such a ridiculous policy.

Result B
.. to expel Clarence and his possy.

yohanand said...

I believe in Che'rence Guevara

wadefish said...

ala bro. good idea wei, but im planning to do it the civilised way. petition, referendum and all la. go through Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar. your fake articles is flawed. caught me for a moment there. hahaha. yeah, guevara ideology! freedom fighters!

weekenglalala~~ said...

i only keep track of blogs of people who giv certain impact of impression in my life.. xd

now i know y u said ghauth jasmon til lidat.. -_-!

some people r absent minded.. well, this is Satan's kingdom.. corrupted minds.. wud to do.. lol

puiyun said...

clarence, i think it's because you're a boy.

maybe you can sign a petition, send it to the dean?

wadefish said...

weekeng: yeah, but i dont fully blame the VC concerning this. the lecturers have a part in this as well. it's just a total screw up la. supposedly top university in Malaysia. sigh.

puiyun: yeah, totally agree with the "sex" thing. one of my girlfriends had no problem entering on many occasions. they just let her pass. it shows a little discrimination over here, no? erm, yeah petition's going round but it's not as simple as petition-signed-approved-policy changes. alot is involved.