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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Muhyiddin’s half-truths and overall influence


Muhyiddin - Malaysians not as gullible as he thinks
Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle

Most people are aware that the ISA is increasingly being used to silence political dissenters and those who highlight injustices in race, religion. and state. Does Muhyiddin really believe that serious issues are ‘sensationalised’, as he claims?

Perhaps Muhyiddin only wants people to toe the official party line and is not interested in people with new ideas and ideals in politics.



At the Malaysia Young Leaders seminar in Parliament on 25 November, Deputy Prime Minister and Education minister, Muhyiddin Yassin told the participants that ‘the younger generation should not allow themselves to be easily influenced by groups that are out to protect their own interests even though their ideologies or struggles look genuine.’

He claimed that the issues that had been sensationalised, politicised or had their validity disputed included religion, the Internal Security Act (ISA), race relations and free speech.

He said, “Young leaders should not be easily deceived by struggles that are based on half-truths. They should also not allow themselves to be manipulated.”

At the seminar which was attended by 300 student leaders from over 25 universities, Muhyiddin also claimed that the young leaders had ‘to differentiate between truth and lies’.

He said, “….the truth cannot be based on assumptions but must be based on incontrovertible evidence.” He also stressed that it was ‘important for young student leaders to play their part in nation-building’ and said that ‘a student's role is to ensure academic excellence’.

He even challenged the students with: “The younger generation will inherit the country's democratic system and I call on them to answer the challenge and take the opportunity to improve themselves and the country.”

Maybe, if Muhyiddin was sincere in his rhetoric and wanted the students to shape their country, he should repeal the University and University Colleges Act (UUCA) which restricts the democratic freedom and intellectual capacity of our nation’s future leaders.

Earlier this year at the Hulu Selangor by-election, four political science students who were observing and studying the electoral process were arrested and accused of campaigning.

Mahathir, Anwar, Mandela and Cameron, the current British PM, are some of the leaders and senior politicians who became interested and involved in politics at University, if not before.

Maybe Muhyiddin should heed the advice of the MCA, a component party of the Barisan Nasional coalition. It, too believes that the UCCA Act should be reviewed and provisions that prohibit campus students from participating and taking part in political activities be repealed.

Most people are aware that the ISA is increasingly being used to silence political dissenters and those who highlight injustices in race, religion. and state. Does Muhyiddin really believe that serious issues are ‘sensationalised’, as he claims?

Perhaps Muhyiddin only wants people to toe the official party line and is not interested in people with new ideas and ideals in politics.

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