The Dandelions

.. the mutual admiration and bashing society.

Reconciling Being a UiTM Student

Posted by Cherubim on August 20, 2008

I’m an undergraduate student of UiTM Shah Alam, studying law just like any other long suffering young lady trying to make the grade; nose deep in dusty thick books, fingers clicking research in Lexis Nexis. Thanks to events beyond my control, though, when I graduate, irrespective over the fact that I have represented my country in debate tournaments, worked to organize international conventions and national seminars in various positions, have proved my ability to communicate in English well by previous work experience, I will now face difficulties when I hit the Job Market.

As I attended class on that particular morning, I asked a friend of mine whether he went as he was dressed in black. He proudly replied, yes, doing his best to charm his way into swaying my convictions by proclaiming that if the Malays do not protect their rights, the ‘kaum pendatang’ will takeover everything and we would lose all. Later that day, my other female classmates declared similar sentiments, saying that even now the Chinese are taking over the economy. All are aware of my mixed heritage, sincerely believing that I embrace my Malayness more than anything else.

In both instances, I did not have the heart to continue a futile argument which would only affect my friendships, as I love them dearly, but I am grieved by it still. They are an intelligent bunch, but while I escaped their mindset, coming from a multiracial family with a family who encourages free thought, the others fully absorbed the brainwashing that they have been subjected to since early childhood. Hey, if you repeat a statement frequently, and enough number of people believe it, it is the collectively accepted truth.

It is not their fault, nor ours. It’s society, if you ask me.

Similar to the anonymous junior of mine who wrote the article published in Haris’s blog, we as the minority who believe in equality of rights, freedoms, and so forth in its purest form is usually stuck between a rock and a hard place. Imagine being us kids, believing as we do, wanting nothing to do with a certain policy of the university and are prosecuted on both sides for it. What would you do? Either way, you’re screwed now. The lecturers and your more radical fellow students label you as a blood traitor and want nothing to do with you, and when you’re outside, your hard won Degree’s no use as everyone labels you as a racist person without knowing you personally. Thanks, thank you very much.

Once, I overheard a lecturer who has a Doctorate state that the Malays have given up so much, and another two lecturers agreeing with her. In another instance a lecturer known for his pro-Malayness was ranting to me over the lack of respect a colleague’s open critique of a Sultan, and the only way not to hurt his feelings was to smile back, and say that I am a Malay too, that I understood. He walked away happy. Oh, I understand too well the Malay insecurity to discuss matters they have no answers to themselves, to merely repeat what others say rather than to get their feet dirty looking for answers, the defensive stance to hold on the privileges that only the elite enjoy at the expense of the poor.

I am, after all, one of them. I live with them, I laugh with them, I cried with them. Them meaning Malay. Then meaning Indians. Them meaning Chinese. Them meaning all of the beautiful unique races in this country. I’m not Malay. I’m just a humble Malaysian student trying to lead a quiet life. Do not lump us as the same and shun us outside, for you’d be prosecuting the ones who support opening up UiTM for non-bumiputeras on the basis of its future survival, as well as the belief in a true, fair, working education system. For this to work, we’d need to have people working on the inside as well as the outside, no easy feat when your VC’s suppressing all independent thought which doesn’t fit well with his agenda.

Please stop making this a political agenda. It’s not helping anyone.

20 Responses to “Reconciling Being a UiTM Student”

  1. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    All hail the queen, amen, amen. Encore encore!

  2. wits0 said

    The UiTM protest succeeded in totally burying the senseless stated purpose of having a self-serving, fake and useless NS program.

  3. erniejean said

    It is indeed a shame Cherubin, to be prosecuted for something others (especially if they are ignorant fools, which makes it so much harder to swallow, huh?) have been responsible for, just becos you happen to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

    But as I know you, I can truly vouch for what a gem you are and am certainly sure that you’ll be one of those who will have no problems doing excellently well in your future profession.

  4. mesoso said

    if only we all could become children again…

  5. nocrid said

    Well, Miss Cherubim The System’s Victim

    I am quite sad that you will be stereotyped by the anti-racism company out there who might not be hiring you knowing from where you were from.

    But…Welcome to the real world (or should I say Malaysia).

    While the very poor Chinese cannot get tax-paid government help because they are being known as by nature is filthy rich. The filthy rich Malay continue to get rich pig-riding their “ALL UNDER THE MALAYS IS POOR AND NEED HELP” image. Hahahahaha…

    Oh, by they way the latter paragraph is as far as merit-based judgement is concerned…

  6. thrasherblackout said

    Keep it up! One day,things will change. Have faith, senior🙂

  7. can said

    Ms. Cherubim,

    Never fear. If your essays are are a fair reflection of your work, I am sure that you will have no trouble in finding a job. Aim high and look for a job at an MNC. Trust me, I have interviewed enough mediocre graduates includes 1st class grads from UM and the UK.

    On a separate note, I love it when empty milo tins find their balls to speak up after the General Elections. Let’s hope all of these brave words will go towards the building of a new civil society in our nation instead of the usual ranting of the spineless.

    This is a good time for me to repeat an excellent prayer from an Indonesian blogger, “semoga bangsa ini ingat mencabik badannya sendiri amat menyakitkan”.

  8. Mr Cherubim said

    Cherubim, my two cents and might I add many undertone of politics is reflected in the comments.

    I am sorry for your struggle in life especially the struggle you had to go through because you come from a mixed family. And it would be lying if I said that “Oh I understand, I have similar struggles.” But I can apologize to you for your struggles – I am sorry. But I am from a Malay family, and I do mix with all manner of races. My family is just like any family in Malaysia, we are who we are in the house. And we conform to society outside. But by the example of my parents I see that in a multi racial society we must respect each other and keep our identity at the same time. And Malaysia is unique because we are multi racial. But look at our history are we more tolerant now? The answer is yes. We get more tolerant and open with every single day then some one HAD to say something because that had an agenda. Now the level of tolerance changes.

    Was a UiTM student myself I can say that given a choice that in actuality students are more content on studying instead of defending their status and quality(like currently). Although not elequant enough but they are letting off some frustration by from what I read, this happen only recently because the issue was introduced by our MB (he had his objectives I think). There was no student in black having street demos before this right? Do you think having street demos is what a student should be doing? But it is a reaction from an equal and opposite action.

    As a student in UiTM I was constantly reminded (by my seniors, lecturers , fellow students and family) that we have a responsibility, to study, to have integrity and so much more, did they not teach you those things? As a student that is our priority. Not to be political, not to have other agendas except to learn. From my induction to my graduation I was reminded that I have a responsibility and not just a privelege.

    Beleive me the defintion you put for equality of rights is very narrow you define it like the only issue is the UiTM policy.

    If you say that the jobs waiting for us in the real world say that “UiTM student = racist” then I am deeply sad that you have this perception. I hope that you get your position as a lawyer because you are qualified and that you have good results in your studies (that should be the criteria, right?). This should be the way. The firm that you are about to enter should look at your track record, experience and abiliy to work hard, if they do not then what they do is wrong.

    Both side of the spectrum have their own tin kosongs. But it comes back to the objective of UiTM and if the objective have been acheived? The issue came from someone that knows very well that it is a issue full of “heat” and “energy” its as if he purposely add kerosine to a flame. Why did he do that.

    And one point I agree with is dont politise the issue.

  9. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    Dear Mr Cherubim,

    Conforming to social norms may not always be right. Just because it is a social norm to discriminate races based on skin colour when it comes to economic and educational privileges does not make it right. In case you do not know, social norms are propagated by idiotic policies dictated by politicians. In school, bullying amongst student is a social norm, may it be psychological or physical, but it doesn’t mean that it is right!

    The tolerance you see is only on the surface. Still water runs deep. If you have browsed around in blogs, you would have seen the degree of racism. Just because someone smiles at you doesn’t mean that that person isn’t a racist……Tolerance?

    We see Avril Lavigne’s, Beyonce Knowles’ and even our local female artistes’ performances got banned? You call this tolerance?

    We see religious police violating people’s (including tourists’) privacies, acting ruthlessly, you call this tolerance?

    We see young couple getting fined just for holding hands. You call this tolerance?

    We see Indian temples being destroyed. You call this tolerance?

    We see UMNO general assembly held on Hindus’ holy day. You call this tolerance?

    You yourself agree that that there was no shown racist sentiment shown outwardly before Khalid Ibrahim mentioned about opening up the quota. Isn’t this proof enough of racism! If the students are not racists, will they even react? No! They will cheer! They will cheer for the improvement of human rights for EVERYONE to have equal chance at education! Barrack Obama is the first black president to be nominated and the people cheered!!! The ‘white’ people don’t go around dressing like Ku Klux Klan chanting white supremacy or white special privileges! Are you trying to tell me that just because we want equal rights, we make people racists?!

    Tolerance? Tolerance is a cliché word overused! The word people should be looking for is understanding. Tolerate what? If we are fighting for the right cause, is there a need to tolerate? No! We try to promote understanding, but we were told to shut up, tolerate and suck up the shit because it is TOO SENSITIVE to promote understanding. Tolerance is about accepting that there is something shitty going on and bearing with it! If you can bear with graft/corruption and getting away with murder, then that is TOLERANCE! No, I am not that magnanimous to tolerate!

    When they are only teaching people to study only university, do not question, do not participate just be a bookworm, they are in fact trying to dumb down the society. University is about studying and LEARNING to prepare you for real life! You start learning when you question so-called facts. If you don’t question, you may be taking in crap and not realise it. The higher up uses you like a pawn and you won’t realise it too. You are not learning when you are regurgitating facts but failing in application, what is the point then of education? If I want facts, I can use easily my online encyclopaedia which is just a google click away……When you question a lot, you start to differentiate facts from propaganda.

    I challenge you to define what is your definition of ‘equality of rights’. Don’t just say you know a lot but fail to even give us a substantive basis to support your belief in equal rights. Walk the talk.

  10. Cherubim said

    Dear “Mr” C,

    What you ask is basically for me to cover my ears, shut my mouth and close my eyes; score 4.0s, go achieve something for the glory of the university and be blissfully ignorance and unresponsive to current events which happened to be on home soil, where blood meets earth, so to speak.

    Here’s the odd thing. The kids who demonstrate on the streets aren’t well off kids. They all come riding kapcai motorcycles; all the kids with Wajas, Suzuki Sport cars, Mazdas, Porches, Peugeots, Fair Ladies, etc aren’t there. So here’s what I think. I think that these poorer kids were told repeatedly that people like them (economically disadvantaged kids) would lose the right to seek education at all, which would include their children in the future at all, while in fact this 10% will affect no one important really.

    It just susahkan the already rich people who have kopak grades tapi nak masuk universiti juga or just those with super cheap parents. It is after all, the most heavily subsidized university built and run by multiracial, multireligious, taxpayers money.

    UiTM has this catchy phrase “Preparation for life”. If life means be a dumb, obedient robot I’ll pass thanks. Like jingo, I like my life to be fabulous, darling.

    Reality hurts sometimes.

  11. anakmerdeka said

    Kenapa lah orang bangsa lain dari Melayu tak faham-faham. UITM adalah wadah dari KEMERDEKAAN TANAH MELAYU yang diberi nama MALAYSIA. Termaktub dalam dalam AKTA… jangan lah nak bermain api. Kesian ada orang MELAYU yang diajar supaya pandai tapi tidak bijaksana. Cerita orang MELAYU tak boleh pandai kalau tidak ada bangsa lain teori merepek… Kepandaian bukan datang dari orang lain. Cina , India pun ada yang tak cerdik pun…..

    Sekarang ni masalahnya ramai orang pandai cakap aja…. nak merosak susunan sosial yang dah dibina bersama dan meruntuhkannya boleh terjadi seklip mata…. Nak dah roboh nanti keamanan ini siapa nak tanggungjawab!!!!

    HATI-HATI dalam menuduh. Tidak ada satu negara pun yang tidak ada masalah. Generasi sekarang semakin porak kerana ramai antara kita tidak boleh berfikir secara rasional.

    BERDOALAH DARI SEKARANG SUPAYA KITA INI MENJADI ORANG YANG PENYABAR….

    ORANG MELAYU DAH LAMA BERSABAR!!!

    BERSATU LAH KITA SEMUA… BERSYUKURLAH PADA YANG ADA….

    PERPADUAN TERAS KEAMANAN!!!!

    JANGAN PERSOALKAN APA YANG DAH TERMAKTUB DALAM PERSETUJUAN MASA KEMERDEKAAN!!! ITU JANJI DATUK-DATUK KITA….

    HIDUPKAN CAHAYA KEMERDEKAAN!!!

    HARI-HARI KITA ASIK KATA ORANG SALAH …..TENTU YANG BERCAKAP TU LAGI BANYAK BUAT SALAH!!!!

  12. missjolie said

    Great job Cherubim! Well done🙂

  13. Anakmerdeka

    Jingo cakap rasional, anakmerdeka tak dengar. anakmerdeka hanya tahu cakap cakap cakap tetapi tak mahu dengar. Jingo beri pelbagai alasan yang munasabah tetapi anakmerdeka langsung tak hirau kerana Abracadabra pikir anakmerdeka tak boleh menentang alasan yang rasional. Datang sini, macam monyet ini anakmerdeka.

  14. K-E said

    I just pity those ‘5000’ UiTM Students…coz i think ,they’re all my juniors..

    i pity them for being used as another political tools by that ‘Abang-Misai-who-loves to sing Broery’s Song’ VC.

    From their looks,i can see that, they’re just newly intakes or ‘freshies’ that being recruited by the famous regime of HEP ,HEA and the boot licking MPPs.Actually they dun really know what they’re doin on the street that day.

    For Non-Bumi or Non-Uitm varsities out there, trust me..Most of us,the ‘UiTM kids’ are not that racist or ethnocentrics like u saw last week.Racism is never being taught in UiTM. It’s a good Institute to learn ‘outside of the box’ and beyond the text books.
    In fact, we believe Khalid Ibrahim’s idea will benefit both UiTM and the students.

    Cheers for Democracy,Liberal and Equality.No More Racism.

    Towards Global Network of UiTM.

    K-E
    DBS 2000
    (Kelantan Campus)
    IB ’04
    (Shah Alam)

  15. Jo. said

    A law student myself in UiTM Shah Alam and a former debater, I applaud your honesty and good sense. There are good students in UiTM who are open minded, who want what’s best for their country and their Uni, and who sincerely believe that the bumi-only policy of UiTM is hurting all parties concerned, especially the students themselves. There will always be the katak di bawah tempurungs, but you and I can make a difference. The world may have only seen the 5000 protesters, but they do not see ‘us’.

    We want change. We want equality. We want meritocracy.

    Keep up the good work, Dandelion.

  16. Madame said

    Great insight, Cherubim🙂 Malaysia needs more people of your calibre.

  17. anto said

    bumped into your blog while googling. Firstly, hats off to your english. You speak well!

    I’m a manager with the number 1 MNC company in Malaysia. You’re right, i won’t hire anyone fron UITM (if they attend my interviews) after what happend.

    I’m still wondering why are these students so racist? I pay a 5 figure tax annually. How would they like if i say you can’t touch mine and my compatriates tax money to fund your institution?

    You speak from your heart. Kudos

  18. neuroneuster said

    hey am part 1 law student of uitm
    and i openly believe that uitm has become too engrossed being politically unfair and biased

    let me admit, am a malay who will always refuse article 153 of federal constitution

    i dont like any bumiputera concepts in uitm

    i hope we can meet
    nice to know people like you
    i meet some but many students are very typical

    good luck

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