SHAH ALAM, April 7 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today reminded students that the tertiary education they received should enable them to develop good manners and reach a high level of civilisation and not just to secure a profession, position and power.

He said under his Malaysia MADANI government, he has been clearly objecting and protesting against the elitists who use their power to steal the nation’s wealth and use their positions to enrich their cronies and clans.

“I am not only against this attitude but also this mindset, which needs to be changed,” he said at a dialogue with Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) students here today.

Hence, Anwar said students at the tertiary level should establish a new paradigm and mindset to be able to develop good manners and high-level civilisation.

“You (students) are not just responsible to build your profession and family but also a civilisation, and that civilisation will stand with confidence, high values and knowledge,” he said.

In reply to a question on street demonstrations and rallies, Anwar said today’s students need to think creatively and not necessarily adopt the method used in the 1970s and 1980s in conveying their dissatisfaction because the situation has changed.

He said there is no problem for young people to express their protest and the government would not impose any restriction on that as long as they followed the rules and did not promote extremist ideologies related to race and religion.

“So, do you really need to organise street demonstrations and rallies? It was done before (in the 1970s and 1980s) because the students have no other platform.

“If you have issues with a particular ministry, let the minister know. Our instruction is clear, that is to give students the opportunity to voice out their opinions. There is no need to resort to the method used before,” he said.

On the assurance to retain UiTM as an educational institution for Malays and Bumiputera, Anwar said the government is consistent in defending the university.

“This is among the lies widely spread…that if Anwar became Prime Minister, UiTM will be shut down. 

“Whereas if you know my history as a student leader, among the things that we fought for was the establishment of UKM (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) and for the then ITM (Institut Teknologi MARA) to be upgraded to UITM.

“We are consistent in that aspect and have never brought up the idea (to shut down UiTM). This is a fact, even in the Unity Government today,” he explained.

On the Universities and University Colleges Act (AUKU) 1971, Anwar said it was not apt for the Act to be repealed, but it could be amended if necessary.

“Several provisions in the Act are important, so I don’t think the move to repeal it is apt, but we can amend a few provisions that need clarification,” he added.


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