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Archive for October, 2008

These are some of the tasks I believe need to be completed / clarified although I have already resigned.

1. Kad Diskaun Pelajar / National Discount Card

I believe there are some which are anxious and quite tak puas hati because the card haven’t been implemented yet. I share your feelings and grievances on this issue as well because the card has sentimental value to me, it’s the only visible thing which I can see and touch with my hands (one fine day) as at least it showed that I manage to contribute something to Malaysians.

Nonetheless, where on earth is that card? I got a call from the company director which was selected by the student leaders. For your info, various companies presented in front of all the representatives from public unis and open questions were asked after each presentation. It was a bid to win the hearts of student leaders to get that tender from the government. Yea an open tender relica made in Bangi.

Fine. That was done. Why no progress? Yea I am puzzled, all of us gave our signature of support to the Minister. To find out further, I called on the special affairs assistant to Dato Seri Khaled today, we had a long chat about it. It came to my attention that the Minister had received and endorsed it and now it’s up to the KSU (Ketua Setiausaha) to send the approval letter to the company.

Ha… where is that approval letter? Looks like we (mantans) have to find out and make sure he sends the letter and let the company do their job. Great. I can’t imagine asking KSU to send a letter. It’s like a 22 year old teaching a 40 year old to do his job. Yea if you or your colleagues so happen to read it’s fine I don’t mind at all, get that letter sent in the first place and I won’t be posting this.

2. Jawatankuasa Kebajikan Pelajar UPM

Ah.. what happened to this audit committee. Cakap nak meeting xpernah meeting. Looks like have to make another appointment with Dato’ Suriah and maybe the new Head of BoD. I want to ensure my membership in the committee is being passed down to the next president. I don’t want anyone preventing the next MPP from getting on that committee.

3. Harga Makanan UPM

Eventually my Executive Secretary (lolz.. for caretaker, same mantan like me) informed me that secretary to Datuk Ibrahim Ahmad Badawi can’t set me an appointment. Yeah fine2. Makanan UPM naik petrol turun ke, xde beza. Maybe when he send his cucu or son to UPM and eat the expensive food there baru nak wat appointment and discuss bout this. Xpe la.. Sabar yea budak2 UPM, makanan mahal xlame lagi.. 7 tahun saje lagi. Kontrak kan 15 tahun. And if you don’t understand, that is sarcasm.

As I write this, I sit back on my chair thinking, when will I be completely resigned?

I really want my Aikido life back:(

Sensei Suzalie! Come what may, ur loyal student is back in action again after 2 years of absence.

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Speechless. Silent Berserk.

I got a letter today. Yellow colour letter. No other letter would be coloured as yellow except from the Vice Chancellor himself or the Board of Directors of the university.

It was dated March 2008. From the Then-Chairman of the Board of Directors.

There goes section 12(1) and section 21(1) not being used extensively as featured in AUKU. Makes all my past questioning efforts on student issues to all departments in UPM as absolutely legitimate.

What sort of internal control practices is this Tan Sri?

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p/s: Untuk semua MPP 2008/2009 yang telah dan akan dilantik ingat satu perkara: get yourself a legal advisor. Even if you have to fork out your own money from your pockets, get a lawyer for your council. If you dont you would be fooled as you won’t know your rights. Let this be a lesson to me in my future business undertakings and for future student leaders.

Now I understand why Italian Mafia has consigliere and the Yakuza have shingiin (legal advisor) and kaikei (accountants). I will have my own legal and financial advisor when I have my own business in the future.

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Aikido & Politics

The day I earned my 1st Dan in Aikido, I was a ruthless teenager seeking for glory and obtaining the art for greatness. 3 years and half after those days, I returned back into my Aikido world, only to find that I have changed too much. No more do I long for promotions but to accept knowledge as it is, to gain as much as I could, for all theories have their assumption and there are no right and wrong. It is only the person who makes it right and wrong.

Thank you, Naim (now 1st dan) and his bro Zaid (now 3rd kyu) for rekindling my memories on Aikido. Technique by technique it seemed like I know it all but I lost all technical aspects. Somehow, I am an Amnesia patient. Nonetheless, I’m back into my Aikido life. The life of training and tranquility.

Politics. I’m retired. Yet they still call me the President. I am a ‘mantan’ = former. Please don’t send any letters to the office addressing me as the president, my term has ended and so has my privileges under the law. I got a call today. The Pro-M UPM wanted the report on MPP 07/08 sepanjang sesi. Well since there is at least an audience ok la. We are planning to make this the first annual report anyway available to anyone by next semester anyway.

Disclosures. Disclosures. Report that is. That’s my job. I will be an auditor, and I love disclosures. So whomsoever you are who betrayed the trust of the people, beware.

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Hopeless Romantic

As I stared at the pictures, I paused as all memories flashed back as if through the winds of time, I could feel the air filed with happiness. Such were the mists blowing, the mountains witness our undying feelings. Sacrifices were made only to make our bond grow stronger, for through the tests of time, we knew our hearts are meant as one.

I miss her. My one, and only her.
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I love this song very much, it’s adapted from da movie: The Myth. Credits to Kim Hae Soon and Jackie Chan. You really made me became xtra hopeless romantic.

Lyrics (Korean and Mandarin – hanyu pinyin)

Jie kai wo zui shen mi de deng dai
Xing xing zhui luo feng zai chui dong
Zhong yu zai jiang ni yong ru huai zhong
Liang ke xin chan dou

Xiang xin wo bu bian de zhen xin
Quan nian deng dai you wo cheng nuo
Wu lun jing guo duo shao de han dong
Wo jue bu fang shuo

iye nae sonul japgo nunulkamayo
uri saranghetton nalto sengkaghepayo
uri nomu sarangheso
soro saranghandan malto mottansondayo

Mei yi ye bei xing tong chuan yue
Si nian yong mei you zhong dian
Zao xi guang le gu du xiang sui
Wo wei xiao mian dui

Xiang xin wo ni xuan ze deng dai
Zai duo ku tong ye bu shan duo
Zhi you ni de wen rou neng jie jiu
Wu bian de leng mo

Hisae nayeso nechago nunei kamayou
Nuri saram haeto nago same kaemayao
Nuri normu saram haeso happa saneyou

Sorou saram hadam mago moteso neyou
Rang ai cheng wei ni wo xin zhong

Nei yong yuan sheng kai de hua
Chuan yue shi kong jue bu di tou yong bu fang qi de meng
Nuri normu saram haeso happa saneyou
Sorou saram hadam mago moteso neyou

Rang ai cheng wei ni wo xin zhong
Nei yong yuan sheng kai de hua

Nuri sojoh haeto yaso yijito manayou
Wei you zhen ai zhui sui ni wo
Chuan yue wu jin shi kong

Sorou saram hadam mago moteso neyou
Ai shi xin zhong wei yi bu bian mei li de shen hua

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My Life

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and Iā€”
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

(Robert Frost, year 1916)

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Dedicated to those who choose that different path in life with all those challenges, my true friends, my hypocritical friends, my foes and those that seek inspiration on life. God Bless.

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While most student activists ponder and focus on the liberalization of AUKU, fairness, students political awareness or even character development, I could not help to ponder the critical role of Malaysian student leadership for the next session (08/09). After a year in office, I came to realize the utmost importance of student-focused organizations to adopt a ‘political ideology’. Be it democracy, islamic democracy, liberals, conservatism, socialism or any type of idealogy serves as the foundation of determining objectives. Student council is after all, a laboratory for students to test ideologies and their acceptance by the masses. Without an idealogy, it’s like the Student Council is creating objectives in thin air and no clear direction is in it’s path.

So here’s a list of challenges and issues I believe Malaysian MPP should address:

1. Economic Recession

Although Bank Negara claims that it has sufficient among of reserves in RM and would not be effected much by the subprime crisis and the solvency of Malaysian companies, student leadership should understand the issue whole heartedly from theories and practice to be able to contribute to Malaysian society with their knowledge. Student leaders should not be caught unaware when the recession comes, your friends which would be graduating will be unemployed. Yes, there could be a possibility of pengangguran. Another masalah kebajikan pelajar to be solved. Before we start telling the government what to do, we should understand the problem and address it with innovative solutions.

2. Malaysian Student Parliament

Student leaders should push for a platform to discuss on issues with the spirit of togetherness. Having a parliament is not aimed to exert power but to form an intellectual society as the foundation for future possibilities. An exemplary model is the “National Union of Students” in United Kingdom in which we can form another replica in Malaysia. Postgraduate students should also be included to act as advisors, the reason is because they are deeply involved in current research thus student leaders can debate on knowledgeable issues rather debate issues without concrete evidence. We din get to do this becuase, read up the next item for the reason.

3. The Future of MPPK – Majlis Perundingan Pelajar Kebangsaan

MPPK in essence is a council of student leaders from IPTA and IPTS. Chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister for each meeting, the MPPK should be expanded as an NGO. With AUKU coming out in the future where students can participate freely on NGO, MPPK should be transformed as an NGO to ensure that students get to discuss with each other more frequent. From frequent discussion, a student parliament can then be created. The reason the parliament can’t be created is because of lack of coordination and communication on a platform. An MPPK should be the one. Another note: some student leaders assume issues effecting IPTA are the same issues effecting those in IPTS. Before deciding assumption as such, please look at the demographics of the students. Monash students do not think the same as UPM students. It’s a different world.

Therefore MPPK should discuss things which are not just IPTA focused but focused on all the Malaysian students as a whole.

4. Competitiveness of Local-Graduates

Local-graduates must be at par with those that graduate from MIT or Harvard, etc. When I attended a meeting at Bank Negara between industrial leaders and vice chancellors 2 years back, I realised that the reason these CEO’s had negative perception on local-graduates were because of several reasons; proficiency in English, lack critical and analytical skills, lack commitment. How do we change this? We must start by changing students by focused based groups to read journals and other intellectual writings since they enter university. It should be no more just lecturers talking in class, studying based on text books, recording facts not understanding them (to get A saje) and can’t execute presentations in class with evidence nor confidence. Should local-graduates are looked high upon by the industries, automatically the society would see student leadership as relevant.

5. Islamic Academia Values

I do think that this is one of the most important aspects to further project the academic excellence of Muslim students. Since the dawn of time, Muslims have pioneered in the area of knowledge from Islamic Spain, Baghdad, Damascus.. but all have been systematically erased from history. We should be the one which spearhead this effort in Malaysia, Muslims need to understand that Islam teaches us to seek knowledge. The excellence of Ibn Rusyd, Ibn Khaldun, Khawarizmi, Ibn Battutah and many others should be exemplary for Muslims. Although they share their differences of thoughts they are in fact scholars of a forgotten world. Rather than concentrate on values which the society perceive as “barrier” for them, focus on positive values first. With adoption comes influence. Once Muslims have understood the importance of knowledge from Islamic perspective, other values would follow suit.

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Well those are the things I can think of for now.. The reason for such disclosure is that I still do care about student leadership and do hope that Malaysian student leadership would practice pragmatism and practicality. Good luck for my successors!

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Referring to letter Dato’ VC sent to Dato’ Seri Khalad @ Menteri KPT which I received from the Vice Chancellor’s office ‘recently’, MPP UPM dibubarkan secara rasminya on the 2nd of October 2008. Hence, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank my fellow UPM’ers for all the support, positive criticism and everything we’ve done together to make UPM a better place. At the moment, until the campus elections would be announced, administration of MPPUPM 08/09 would be handled by the ‘executive caretakers’ as stated in the letter.

At least ‘executive caretakers’ have a program under their belt already, the soon to be held South East Asia Children Charity Performance (SEACCC) organized by then-MPPUPM 07/08
on November at the Palace of the Golden Horses. I am proud of my Exco Jason Yong Yoon Chee, he’s one of the few leaders in MPP who exploited the opportunity given to him and organized something from zero to soon to be ‘hero’. Like I’ve always reminded, all Excos have been given opportunities under my administration and of course I do push for them to host events which differs from others and I am proud to say at least UPM Students Council managed to host an international event. It’s the first in UPM and I am sure these are the seeds towards culture of excellence in the future.

Nonetheless, let bygones be bygones and let’s concentrate on the future.

At the moment, the ‘executive caretakers’ are planning to compile all the work done by all the Excos as an annual report for our shareholders-students. That’s right, we’re trying our best to get this up so you know who you voted for and what have they given back to you.

Looking into the previous ‘penyerahan memorandum pro mahasiswa upm’ to UPM Vice Chancellor, there are certain things which I would like to respond as I believe lots of students are not aware of this;

The tuntutan are;

1. Pihak pentadbiran universiti mengembalikan kuasa dan hak MPP yang sebenarnya kepada MPP yang telah menang.

2. Semua peruntukan untuk aktiviti pelajar mengikut persatuan diserahkan kembali kepada kuasa MPP.

3. Beberapa pelajar yang telah menjadi MPP supaya bersidang bersama dalam SENAT UPM.

4. MPP merupakan badan bebas yang tidak perlu dikawal oleh mana-mana pihak terutamanya pihak Bahagian Hal Ehwal Pelajar.

I’ll provide my inputs based on my experience as all of these issues were touched before in our monthly meetings with TNC and VC + monthly meetings with MPP.

  • Item 1 : MPP has lots of provision under AUKU. What we did was for all our letters and where UPM do not underline any pre-requisites in any ruling, we utilized all the akta-akta extensively. I believe it’s more towards you exploring what your powers are as an MPP as stated in the law, as with those that people say ‘cannot do this and that’, challenge them in the court of law. Mahasiswa must be intelligent. Since the akta in laws are hak. I love it when someone says I can’t do this and that and there I go blabbering about the laws and they say, ok fine. Use it, I found that lots of my exco members don even understand AUKU and the hak they possess. Don’t start saying any of your representatives in the council representing any ‘political camp’ know better, I know everyone and what they spoke during our monthly meetings. For those that win… hmmmmmmmmmmmm…. let’s see very interesting. How about I change it to: ‘kembalikan hak pengundi yang telah mengundi MPP yang telah menang?’. My excos… *wink wink* how many of you be it from any political camp have fulfilled ur responsibilities from the manifestos, executed things you agreed in our meeting, even to attending meetings and organizing events together? If you have done all this then I believe it has been wrong for the university should they deny you any ‘rights’. otherwise, vice versa.
  • Item 2: Ok we brought this up during my monthly meeting with Dato’ Nik Mustapha, we asked that MPP be given the rights to conduct financial transactions as have been stated in AUKU. I believed that by acquiring financial leverage, MPP would expand it’s influence by sponsoring student programs for a start. It was successful for certain student projects we sponsored where we forked our own money. Nonetheless Dato’ VC did not agree as there were ‘financial responsibility’ problems in this sense: the troublesome audit. Solve the audit issue as the current laws in Malaysia is very complicated and should student organizations do not provide a true and fair view of accounts, you can get jailed.
  • Item 3: Dato’ VC agreed on this during our meetings and during the APEX university discussions. We would like to get students into the senate but I have firmly believed that student leaders which enter the senate must be students who could discuss and debate on the future of the university in the sense of academia, not just student issues. Having said that, I do hope the next MPP pursue this uncompleted task.
  • Item 4: Wow.. metaphorically I feel like I am being controlled. Perhaps maybe the disagreements MPP had before with certain HEP officers were because we were controlled? If we were then we should already have ONLY agreements. It’s up to the MPP really to ensure they are NOT controlled by anyone. MPP is very much free as stated in the AUKU laws. It’s up to the exco members really. Kalo walk the walk, talk the talk, orang x berani nak control. But if you talk the talk but you don’t walk the walk, then senang ah orang control. Anyone who possess knowledge will be feared and not controlled.

I have lots of good memories in MPP UPM, much better during the years when I was an MTM.. thank you my excos, I do cherish it. Good luck all, and Allah bless:)

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