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    Updated on Sunday, April 21, 2002 10:42 PM

UM’s top brass signs good-conduct pledge


Kevin Tan, Malaysiakini
7:17pm Wed Jan 16th, 2002

The top management of the country’s premier educational institution, Universiti Malaya, today became the first among all public universities to sign the pledge of good conduct as required by the government.

UM’s vice-chancellor Prof Dr Anuar Zaini said UM is being ‘pro-active’ by signing the pledge before other public institutions of higher learning although the university’s staff have until March 1 to do so.

Six top universities officials, including the vice-chancellor, signed the pledge in UM’s Perdanasiswa auditorium before a crowd of 800 staff.

On Oct 8, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced the requirement for all civil servants along with teachers, university lecturers and students to sign a pledge of good conduct.

The premier said the move was to check the “poisoning of the minds” in the country’s educational institutions so that students and academics would stick to their respective roles — students to gain knowledge and not indulge in anti-government activities while academics are to discharge their duties professionally.

The announcement sparked a volley of protests from those affected by the new ruling, including Cuepacs, the umbrella body to some 850,000 civil servants and various civil groups.

However, Cuepacs subsequently accepted the controversial requirement by the government with the condition that several clauses in the pledge be amended.

No place for politics

Speaking at a press conference later, Anuar explained that being part and parcel of the civil service, the university staff are required to be loyal to the King.

“Anybody who doesn’t want to sign it doesn’t belong to UM,” he said.

On the involvement of undergraduates in the Indera Kayangan by-election campaign, the vice-chancellor said students should focus on their studies instead.

Anuar stressed that there is no need for politics on campus.“If you want to be involved in politics, don’t come to university,” he added.

The vice-chancellor however refused to comment on whether he had received a report on the Dewan Tunku Canselor fire.

Anuar said he wants to forget about the past and focus on the future.

UM has been in the media limelight following last year’s fire which gutted the university’s Dewan Tunku Canselor.

Some Barisan Nasional politicians, including Prime Minister Mahathir, had alleged that ‘extremist students’ were behind the fire, following which two student leaders were detained under the Internal Security Act.

Although it was reported that the Fire Department has discovered that the fire was caused by faulty wiring, the government remains evasive on the matter. The final report on the fire is yet to be revealed.


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