As the fifth installment of the Bersih rallies is set to be held next Saturday, Universiti Malaya Student Representative Council chairperson Hazwan Syafiq Haznain slammed that demonstrations may embroil the nation in disorder rather bringing a new dawn.
However, pro-Mahasiswa group Universiti Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany) rebutted Hazwan’s statement, saying he was associating himself with BN’s agenda and this would sacrifice the students’ right to rally.
In a Facebook posting yesterday, Hazwan uploaded an edited photo consisting of chaotic scenes at previous Bersih rallies, such as police car being damaged and tear-gassed rally-goers.
The photo’s caption is “the students reject demonstrations”, while Hazwan warned that should the rally continue, the public would not get a new Malaysia but a chaotic Malaysia (Malaysia Haru).
In an article together with the photo, he said he was worried about the Budget 2017 announcement which saw the budget for public universities continue to face slashes.
“However we should not rely on demonstrations to voice our the anxiety. There are many other rational and respected channels, but why didn’t we use them?”
The newly-elected student council president lamented that the leaders would not listen to the “powerless” grassroots should the demonstrations continue.
“In the end the issue which was being fought for was abandoned, and it was only to get popularity.
“It is true we need more strength from all the people. But do we wish to disrupt other people just to serve our desire for demonstrations? This is selfish.”
Hazwan continued to criticise that demonstrator have polluted the street and now they are targeting the university.
He queried the rationality of the rally organiser to travel over the whole country to get support.
“Aren’t you all not satisfied with being self-styled ‘fighters’, and now you have to spread the hatred to others?
“Trust me, the radical culture, demonstrations, placard holding and other methods would not change anything. Should it be allowed to continue, we would not get a new Malaysia but a chaotic Malaysia!,” added Hazwan in strong wording.
He claimed he believed in rational and diplomacy in voicing out the concerns of the youths and wished to emulate the spirit of negotiation of Malaysia’s forefathers to gain independence.
“Comrades, let us unite our souls and utilise the current opportunity to voice out. I believe we need ideas but not continuous fighting.
“Negotiation, diplomacy and toleration, let us reject demonstrations,” ended the article.
Hazwan also invited all youths to discuss how to survive during the global economic downturn using the hashtag#KitaBincang.
Speaking to Malaysiakini today, he has confirmed the authenticity of the posting.
Hazwan was leader of Penggerak Mahasiswa, a body was seen as leaning towards the government. He was elected as Universiti Malaya Student Representative Council chief after defeating the pro-Mahasiswa condidates.
‘Students do not share Hazwan’s views’
However, Hazwan’s statement was rebutted by Umany, which said the student leader was sacrificing the students’ rights to rally.
In a statement, the pro-Mahasiswa group opined that the students did not share Hazwan’s views in demonising the rally.
Umany said the rally pushed the nation towards advancement as witnessed in the previous three Bersih rallies, the Taiwan Sunflower student movement, and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States.
“Isn’t (Hazwan’s) statement regressive, which makes the more advanced students become the most close-minded group?”
They also questioned why Hazwan needed to demonise the rally-goers.
“His statement matches BN’s agenda and this makes people query his motive.” - Mkini