Media Freedom Mirrors the Country’s Democracy

The media is a major medium in communication and in ensuring the success of national agendas, particularly in confronting the challenges of globalization. It is well known that the media plays a big role in the formation, development and stability of a country, including the social, economic and political aspects. People around the world rely heavily on media to get information. Due to this reliance, the media is seen as a major supplier of information to the public with promptness and transparency. The media does not only act within the scope of dissemination of information but also plays the key role in informing, educating and motivating the people towards the development as planned by the government.

However, transparency of the media in conveying information begins to be questioned by society today. This situation occurs when people see the media as tools and major weapons for some parties, particularly political parties in spreading their agendas regardless of the authenticity of the supposed role played by the media. Without exception, the media also serves as an effective platform to ensure that the interests of some parties are maintained. Thus, the question to be answered by all parties especially the media, is the extent of transparency in fulfilling the responsibilities towards the public.

If seen in Article 10 of the Constitution, it clearly outlines the freedom of speech. This is seen as parallel with the concept of democracy as practiced in this country which emphasizes some fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens. But the question is, how far can this freedom be practiced without restrictions and interference from any politically influenced party? In the context of the media in Malaysia, the freedom to write, issue an opinion, to voice out and criticize is subject to Article 10 (2) in which, the parliament has been empowered to make certain restrictions on Article 10 for the purpose of safeguarding national security, protecting the interests of national security, maintaining relations with other countries, protecting the interests of morality and restrictions to protect the privileges of Parliament or Legislative Assembly. Theoretically, I see whatever contained in the constitution and made as system in this country as very beautiful and systematic, but from the point of practicality, I think a lot of things should be reviewed, including the freedom and integrity of the media in disseminating information to the public.

Frankly, I see that the country’s media is as if being governed by certain parties to protect their respective interests. Control of the media in disseminating information to the public is sometimes necessary, but if it is too controlled and oppressed, I fear, that the transparency and media freedom in carrying out its social responsibility will be affected. Various acts are made to control the freedom of media in Malaysia, including the Internal Security Act (ISA), Official Secrets Act (OSA), Sedition Act (SA), Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA), the Broadcasting Act, the Issuance of Import Materials Act, BERNAMA Act and the Federal Constitution.

In a democracy system, the media is considered as the 'public watchdog' or observers to the public. Four key elements in this system is the Legislature, the Judiciary, the Executive (Government) and the mass media. All four of these elements should not be linked to each other. The media as 'public watchdog' should be able to report any issues relating to all these elements. But what that has happened is that the media seems to be bound by and drawn from the continued freedom to be transparent and fair in conveying information to the public.

In my view, democracy should not be pawned in the name of irresponsible media freedom. The media is the important agent of unity in eliminating conflicts as opposed to the values and attitudes of people of various races. The role of media as a tool for social interpretation and the mirror that reflects the problems, needs and aspirations of the people should be prioritized. Without honest feedback, it would obviously be difficult for the government to reflect itself.

Cooperation of all parties is crucial in ensuring transparency of media in reporting a certain issue so that the public are confident and have faith in the credibility of the media itself. Thus, I suggest to all parties, especially the media for them to restore their credibility as the community’s liaison agents. The media should play their role in a professional manner. All parties must be open to receive reports or media criticism about their inadequacies. The media should act wisely and freely without any influence and not bound by any party. Transparency of the media in disseminating information to the public is important because it reflects the policy of openness and transparency of a country.


Excess of Teachers in Malaysia: An Evaluation

Malaysia is now entering a second phase of 15 years to achieve Vision 2020. Accordingly, one of the important agendas of the government is to develop a world class education system. As such, the Ministry of Education has a huge responsibility in developing a human capital that is comprehensive, progressive, high in morals and also ethics. Based on this, the Ministry of Education plans to implement policies for educational development in order to achieve educational goals such as by expanding the overall potential of the individual, to produce a balanced person physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually, and to enhance creativity, innovation and cultural knowledge of students, providing a more efficient, effective and world class education system.

Education plays a key role in developing a human capital that has a strong identity, competent, noble in personality, knowledgeable and highly skilled to fill the need to reach the status of a developed nation by 2020. Teachers are an important element in the success of this mission because teachers are seen as an agent in producing a civilised generation in a country. The role played by teachers in the building of society is not small, especially so in the stream of modernisation. In an effort to provide the ideal education, the Ministry of Education has developed and plans to upgrade and improve the quality of education in accordance with changes in the socialisation of society today. However, if depending on the education system alone, I feel it will not guarantee the success of this noble intention. It should be viewed in a broader scope, including about the influx of teachers in Malaysia from time to time.

Statistics today show a high level of wanting to be a teacher as a career choice in the future. It can be seen on the quota of college courses offered at public and private higher education institutions in Malaysia. The tendency of graduates who have just completed their undergraduate studies in public and private institutions choosing to become teachers after graduation is also increasing. For some, this may represent a positive improvement to education in Malaysia. However, I have opinions and different ideas on where I see the uncontrolled influx of teachers can also have negative impacts on the country in the long run. This is based on several in-depth evaluation of this issue.

The mentality widely believed that the teaching profession as a career that is easy and can save themselves from the risk of unemployment causes many people choosing to become teachers as a way out from being haunted by the problem of getting a job. In addition, it seems to have become a trend, especially among graduates who graduated from the arts. This may be influenced by several factors, some of which is having no employment opportunities after graduation, family choices in selecting courses at the university, an urgent situation, and so forth. These factors will contribute and determine the effectiveness and success of those really ingrained with the value of an educator than those who choose the profession of a teacher due to having been thrust upon it. Number of too many teachers in Malaysia is seen to give less of an impact on the realities that shape the educational process. Hence, the objective of development and consolidation of human capital should be corrected.

I have no problem with a large number of teachers if these teachers have a strong identity as an educator and shaper of the nation because I am sure they have a clear vision and mission as educators. However, what needs to be questioned is that of many teachers but not having the actual identity of true teachers will affect those educated by them. This is because I think that teachers are the icons of self-identity for the society. If teachers fail to act accordingly, educational institutions will not be able to produce a nation high of morals for the society and country. Thus, too many teachers in Malaysia is feared would reduce the overall effectiveness and focus on building the nation of Malaysia.
In addition, the lack of skilled teachers has also become an issue in the implementation of effective education. According to statistics released by the Planning Division of Education Development (Ministry of Education) in 2000, 61.8% of the teachers consist of female teachers and the Ministry of Education face the problem of placing them in rural areas, particularly in remote areas and islands. Many schools in remote areas and islands get less experienced teachers or those lacking in training. This will also lead to a mismatch in the distribution of teachers by choice. Then a situation will take place in which most teachers in schools are only teaching because they were thrust into the situation. Teachers who are not of the primary choice have to teach critical subjects like Mathematics, Science and English to meet the needs of students. Due to the lack of experience and knowledge of the subject, the integrity of the teacher in delivering knowledge to students starts to be disputed.

Based on these factors I feel that the taking of too many teachers should be reviewed on the effectiveness of educating and forming a young generation of Malaysia, thoroughly balanced in all aspects. I fear that the passion to be a teacher without a better understanding of the education system and the purpose of education in the long term would not bring a positive input to the Malaysian society. I therefore recommend that the Ministry of Education take a wise step in preparing the required number of teachers in schools, presenting a curriculum appropriate with the current needs and focusing on the welfare of teachers. In addition, I propose that the Ministry of Education to improve the teacher selection system, such as tightening the conditions and criteria for a teacher candidate recruitment. It is hoped that these recommendations will be taken seriously by the government in improving the quality of the education system in Malaysia.


Malaysia’s Youth: Towards Producing a World-Class Human Capital

Experiencing modernity in this challenging era is not a simple matter to people throughout the world. Robust competition in economic, technological and social sectors requires political stability both inside and outside the country. Economic development, regional and also world politics give major implications for countries around the world including Malaysia. The role played by international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and such is very helpful in ensuring healthy competition in economic, social and political aspects.

In facing this situation, our minds are often bombarded with the greatness of the west without opening our eyes and looking at the capabilities and advantages that we have which includes the potential of the young generation who are always high-minded and eager to change the world arena. I see a future and a huge opportunity in the hands of Malaysia whereby this time we have the opportunity to chair the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). This opportunity coupled with great responsibility has to be filled with the best way possible for the good of the religion and the country. Looking at the future of Islam and the world debate on the situation today, I feel the time has come for us to optimise the best possible opportunities and roles available. Changes and challenges cannot be easily established without the determined efforts of all parties, including efforts to form young people who are skilled, competitive, courageous and visionary. Groups of young people like these are necessary if we want to see a bright future for the religion, country and nation.

As the young people of the 21st century, we should always be high-minded and have a clear vision of the effort to uphold religion, country and nation. I feel that this mission is not impossible to be achieved if the country manages to form a quality young generation. I am very optimistic about the ability of young Malaysians in facing current challenges. But to achieve this noble intention, it requires intensive preparation including the application of moral values into the youth themselves at an early stage. Among the values are leadership qualities, competitiveness, courageousness, high-mindedness and prudence. Our young people need to build their self-esteem, personality, mental health and knowledge in order to become a dynamic and superior being in the future. Young people who are skilled and knowledgeable will be able to provide valuable input to the country.

Young Malaysians should realise the importance of their role towards the future of the country. The responsibility and their role are very big. Thus, a positive paradigm shift towards it is very important, such as challenging the comfort zones that they have. Challenging the comfort zone here does not mean they cannot live in comfort but instead that they should always be prepared to consider for a bright future of Malaysia. This is because young people have the scope and sharp observance in helping the country to remain strong in the social, economic and political aspects.

In an effort to develop and maintain a world class human capital, competition between countries is also increasing, especially of developed countries. They adopt a comprehensive disclosure policy in an effort to attract excellent human capital, including among Malaysians. Thus, a positive competitive attitude is also able to produce and develop young people who are competent and competitive in all aspects. Skilled and knowledgeable labour is the cutting edge for the country's competitiveness. In this case, I feel that the government should take holistic measures to strengthen education and training system starting from early childhood education up to tertiary level. In addition, the increase of competence of graduates in institutions of higher learning also plays a key role in moving towards the mission of producing a quality human capital in this country. Academicians in various specialties are the leaders and explorers of ideas, concepts and new theories that become the cornerstone of the current development of knowledge.

Cooperation from all parties is essential to realise the hope of the future. I analogize this situation with a football team where all team members must play a role, regardless the position. Each player starting from the goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders and attackers are equally important. If even the players are as good as Rooney, Messi or Ronaldo, but the defender and goal keeper are weak then the team might lose. Therefore, to achieve a bright future of Malaysia, we must work together so that it is not an empty fantasy solely. Like it or not, these days the country is at a crossroads between a future that is either bright or bleak. The choice is now in the hands of every Malaysian.


Annual General Meeting Invitation

Annual General Meeting
Students' Representatives Council 2009/2010

Date : 24th January 2011 (Monday)
Time : 8.00 pm - 11.00 pm
Venue : Main Auditorium, IIUM.


"Joining Hands for the Betterment of the Ummah"

Marriage While Still Studying: Between Benefits and Challenges

Getting married at a young age is not new in our society, especially amongst the Malay community. The phenomenon of early marriage seems to be a trend and life style among young people today, especially those living in rural areas. In the early 20s of age they have begun talking about marriage. For some, they accept and assume this is common in the Malay community. But for others, they consider that this situation and phenomenon should be changed as in line with current developments.

Some young people at this age tend to opt for early marriage, including while still being a student. The phenomenon of married while studying frequently occurs among students of public and private higher education institutions in the country. In my observation, the issue of marriage among the students has become a discussion that always has its ebb and flow. Parents, students and adults have different views and approaches in dealing with this phenomenon. What is certain, they each have their own views and stances on this matter.

Marriage is a requirement that cannot be separated in strengthening the family system.
Generally, people put the wedding business as a very important thing to be done with responsibility and awareness. An adult community should be more open and mature in discussing the issue of marriage, because the flow of life continues to change from time to time leading to thoughts and actions of young people to differ according to environmental factors, educational background and economic status.
I do not have a problem on the issue because for me marriage while still studying has its benefits and challenges. Challenges that, if managed properly, then the marriage will be able to provide a positive impact on students, while if otherwise, it can certainly be a big problem for students. Several factors must be taken into account when students want to get married while still studying, which includes the ability to focus on both education and marriage, having the financial means, openness of families and readiness to the presence of children. These factors are very important to be taken into consideration so that problems arising after marriage can be avoided.

In short, the benefit of marriage while still studying is when the marriage is able to motivate them.This is because they feel the need to be more responsible and mature in their decision-making and actions on either learning or family. Their life is also more organized and structured in terms of time and activities. The demands and the need to divide time to more important matters should be given priority. In fact, what is more important is that it can refrain them from committing sins and immoralities which are getting more widespread in public and private higher education institutions.

The challenge on the other hand is to bear the financial constraints for studies and family needs.  This matter needs a thorough and detailed planning because failure in solving this problem may cause a stop in learning. The presence of children in situations where they are not yet ready may sometimes give them problems and challenges. Therefore, careful and mature planning is necessary to avoid any problems arising. Marriage in the age and condition of not having yet fully matured can cause a divorce to occur. Thus, marriage during or after studying is not the problem rather, the preparation in all aspects of knowledge and challenges of the marriage is to be considered and prioritized.

Recently, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposed in his speech and suggested that Iranians, especially young women to marry at the age of 16. This may be caused by several factors considered reasonable. I feel that these recommendations as something interesting to be thought about and studied. In Malaysia recently too, the Malacca state government under the leadership of the Honourable Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam has suggested that parents give consent to their children for marriage while still in school to curb problems of pregnancies out of wedlock.

For those purposes, the Islamic Religious Council of Malacca (MAIM) and the Malacca Islamic Religious Department (JAIM) agrees to give leniency of marriage for boys under the age of 18 years and under 16 for girls. For the State of Malacca, this is the best way to address the problem of throwing away babies and cases of females pregnant out of wedlock. However, I do not feel it is the best solution of handling this issue because it must be seen from the main cause that is more important towards this problem.

The issue of marriage while still studying should be studied and discussed in an open and mature manner by all parties. Openness in accepting and discussing these issues can give a positive momentum to ensure students excelling in their studies or their marriages. Every decision made will have a big impact on students, the learning process, families and also efforts in producing quality graduates.


Privatisation: Effects Towards the Country and Citizens

Privatisation has been a major agenda of the world since its introduction more than 20 years ago by the world’s capitalist super powers, the United States and Britain. This policy was introduced by two countries which practice capitalism, namely U.S. president Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. With the support of organisations like the World Bank, the International Fund, IMF and Asian Development Bank, the basis of this success has given big benefits to the governments including in terms of revenue and political strength. Privatisation is a political and economic phenomenon which is implemented for the moving of interests or certain investments of the government to the private sector. Thus, the power to make decisions is shifted from the hands of the public to the private or new owners of the public organisation.

Malaysia became one of the first countries to implement this policy under the administration of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Among the privatised public companies since the 1980s include Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Telekom Malaysia. As of late, the government also intends to privatise water in Selangor to SYABAS. The Selangor water privatisation process to SYABAS has triggered a reaction from various parties including the state government, political parties and also the community. The federal government's decision to privatise the water supply of  Selangor to SYABAS has become a hot issue because it involves the welfare of the people of Selangor, especially those around Selangor, Klang Valley and Putrajaya.

Basically, I think that privatisation is one of the government’s measures to boost the country’s revenues. This is because privatisation is seen as a transitional monopoly to the private sector to maximize profits. However from another angle, it will give a big impact to the community when privatisation is done to benefit certain parties only. In this case, the transparency of the government in implementing these policies will indeed affect the prosperity and welfare of the citizens.

I do not agree with the proposed privatisation of water in Selangor if the reason given is because the government had to shoulder huge losses due to wastage and the attitude of those who fail to pay the water bills. The reason given is unreasonable, because I see that these things are associated with the management. Weaknesses of previous management had affected the welfare of the people of Selangor. Thus, the government should strengthen and improve the efficiency of water management system rather than continue to privatise straight to SYABAS.

I view that this Selangor water privatisation policy would have an adverse impact on the community, especially those who are of the middle and lower income groups. High water rates after the privatisation will burden this group, where they have to bear high costs for water supply. In addition, those who will be affected and having to bear the direct impact of this policy are people who are unimportant in the government or the ruling coalition. They are ordinary people who do not have a high position but have to bear high costs to attain the services. Privatisation of water obviously gives bad implications for the welfare of the people especially the poor and lower income groups.

As a Malaysian who cares and will receive the impact of this privatisation policy, I urge for the government to withdraw and review the proposals to privatise water in Selangor to SYABAS. What is more important is that the government should strive to improve the efficiency of administration and management of the department which includes improving infrastructure and related facilities. Transparent management and efficient monitoring will ensure the welfare and a quality service to citizens. Implementation of any government policy requires a careful balancing of benefits to the government and the people so that all parties are protected and not exploited solely to benefit certain parties.


Malaysia in the Era of Transformation: The Reality and Long-term Effects

Policy of the transformation of government introduced by the government under the leadership of the Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak have recently promised a large wave of changes towards national development in aspects of economic, services and social of the country. The transformation of government introduced is in line with national preparations for confronting the challenges of globalization and Vision 2020. In the era of Tunku Abdul Rahman, the spirit of independence and unity has been introduced, and then a national education policy became the foundation in the leadership of Tun Abdul Razak. After that, Tun Hussein Onn introduced the concept of solidarity and justice, Tun Mahathir was more to the industry and privatization. In the era of Tun Abdullah, Islam Hadhari, and currently 1 Malaysia and the transformation is being talked about.

Generally, the transformation plan introduced by the government is seen as a step towards the improvement and welfare of the people of Malaysia. As a citizen of Malaysia who is looking for change and good in all respects, I welcome the government’s intention to achieve this transformation plan as long as it does not violate the boundaries of religion, norms and ethics of the pluralistic society of Malaysia. Each transformation program introduced must be studied and examined in a holistic and thorough manner towards the long-term effects, benefits, risks and problems that could be faced in the future. Each transformation program carried out must also take into account the interests of the people of Malaysia as a whole because all decisions and policies formulated by the government will have a significant impact on society. Therefore, the implementation of this transformation plan must be fair and transparent without interest to any party.

I am very optimistic about any of the government's proposal if the proposal gives benefit to religion, race and nation. However, if the proposal is contrary to the boundaries of religion, norms and ethics of society, I would not hesitate to object to any of the government’s proposal. Protesting does not mean to oppose blindly without checking, but after reviewing and examining in a holistic manner in advance. In this case, we should think and act in a mature and wise manner as it involves the future of religion, race and nation.

If you look at the economic transformation program having been introduced, the government wants to make Malaysia a hub for nightlife entertainment to generate the country’s economy. The matter was opposed by many parties due to the long-term effects and risks that would be faced by the country. I am also on the side that opposes this government policy. This clearly shows that the people want a change and a good policy without denying certain interests. Whatever the transformation to be implemented by the government, it must take into consideration the advantages and disadvantages in the long term. If not, it would not be something strange if the proposal gets opposed.

Looking at the future challenges facing the society, inventory and preparation to face an era of transformation and change are very important. The construction of a nation that has a strong identity, variety of skills and extensive knowledge is helpful in realizing this transformation. For example, experts in various fields, intellectuals, professionals and statesmen of quality must be improved in preparation for facing transformation and challenges of Vision 2020. As a student, I see the need for graduates who are competent, skilled, have leadership abilities and competitive to be produced by public and private higher education institutions in Malaysia. This is because products of higher education institutions are the result and main reference to the success of any of the government's intention in the future.

Creating a society of Malaysia in particular students who are sensitive to issues of governance and related matters is very necessary for any proposals and policies to be implemented by the government to be understood by all parties. The culture of simply not caring within the Malaysian society must be eradicated immediately so that they will not be oppressed by any proposals and systems that do not provide benefits and advantages. Exposure towards the challenges and realities happening in the country and the world is seen to be able to provide positive input to the community.

Social transformation will be better accomplished if some of the negative elements present in this country are contained and eradicated immediately. For example, social problems, crime rates and the security level should be investigated and evaluated as best as possible. I suggest that the government set a clear target on this matter such as the target percentage of reduction in crimes and social ills in the society. If this really happens, then the transformation program carried out should be a positive thing for the country. The KPI measure on the effectiveness of any policies introduced by the government should be in line with the current realities of society.


Economic Transformation Program (ETP) : Malaysia as the Hub of Entertainment

According to the plan of the Economic Transformation Program (ETP), which was released a few days ago, the administration of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants to make Malaysia as the hub of evening entertainment to spur the tourism industry. This will be through the establishment of several popular entertainment clubs, organizing a major concert, relaxing the guidelines to be followed by international performers and repackaging international events such as Formula 1 and MotoGP. ETP has also recommended for the establishment of entertainment zones in five states, including the Klang Valley which will see at least 10 entertainment clubs by 2014.

As expected, the government’s action by the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) has received opposition and objection from various parties including Islamic NGOs, the Muslim Consumers Association Malaysia (PPIM), the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM), the Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia (PPPM), politicians, intellectuals, and even the public.

I strongly protest and express disagreement with the government's intention to make Malaysia a hub of entertainment in an effort to spur the tourism industry in Malaysia. I view that the government’s action is not reasonably practicable because it is inconsistent with the principles of the National Principles (Rukun Negara) which is of civility and decency. I would like to suggest to the government to withdraw and reconsider this matter as many adverse effects will be faced in the near future which includes the impact on social welfare, economic matters, safety or even the image of Malaysia as a country that often leads the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC).

If it is seen regarding the social problems especially those affecting young people, I am worried and uncomfortable to see this problem persisting. Implementation of this entertainment hub will promote the social and moral decadence in the society. The establishment of this entertainment hub will only give a negative impact on the future of Malaysia, including a high probability of increased statistics on the transmission of HIV and AIDS, increase of crime rates such as drug trafficking, ecstasy pills consuming, prostitution and gangsterism. This is very dangerous and critical if the entertainment hub is actually implemented.

I do not see any positive input that will be acquired by the country with the implementation of the entertainment hub because I view that there are many more steps that should be deemed relevant by the government. This is because the tourism sector has not been fully exploited. More can be done to spur the industry in attracting new markets from Europe, the United States and other regional countries. Among them, exploiting the forests which are rich in flora and fauna and utilising attractive diving areas for tourism purposes. I am confident that Malaysia can lead in providing a sustainable, exclusive and valuable eco-tourism. The future of Malaysia's tourism industry will grow brighter if we have the vision and creativity to support the potential of its growth that is vast and diverse.

As the lead nation of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), it is more relevant and reasonable if the government of Malaysia explores other sectors to improve the economy, for example, in making Malaysia a hub for Islamic financial services. This is because Malaysia is now a leading banking and capital market as well as a takaful industry in the world. This measure has the potential to make Malaysia the hub of an integrated Islamic financial services hub. For example, the National Bank is currently in the process of finalising the establishment of a centre of Islamic finance and the approval of licenses for two mega Islamic banks. As an Islamic country, the government should develop a tourism industry that provides opportunities for visitors to recognise the heritage of Islam, including the economic sector. The use of gold dinar as the currency is seen as able to give a big advantage on the economy. Thus, I see that Malaysia has a large space and the opportunity to spur the economy, including the tourism industry but it should coincide with the norms and ethics of the society.

The issue of this entertainment hub should be given serious attention by the government to develop Malaysia into a country that is healthy in terms of social development. Establishment of the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC), which is an independent body tasked to review in detail the country’s economy should be maximized as possible.

Mohammad Firwan Norliza
Students' Representatives Council
International Islamic University Malaysia.

Great Event For Students

"Towards One Ummah, Zero Crime"

The University is committed to the enhancement of safety and security on campus. For the last six months, the University has embarked in a project involving security risk analysis, security policy development and security solutions deployment.

As part of the security implementation, Safety & Security Section in collaboration with CITA are organizing an IIUM Security Acculturation Week 2011, targeting both staffs and students.

The program includes sessions on policy presentations as well as other engaging activities which target to inform, educate and test the understanding among the participants.We welcome all students on Saturday, 22nd January at Mini Auditorium. No registration is required and we are giving away door gifts for the first 100 participants.

22nd January 2011 (Saturday) @ Mini Auditorium – Students only

0830 – 0900         Welcoming refreshment
0900 – 1230         Policy Talk and Quizzes
            -IT Acceptable Use Policy
            -Incident Management Policy
            -Corporate-Wide Security Policy
            -ESS policy
1230 – 1400         Lunch and Prayer break
1400 – 1600         Talk on Personal Security
              -(e.g. self defence ad response to physical attack)

The Decline of Students’ Academic Performance: Causes and Impacts to the Country’s Development

In facing the country’s situation that is fast developing, education is not only a necessity extremely important amongst youths, but it is central for the country’s advancement. This is because the standard of education has a close relationship with employment standards, social status, income and a better living standard. Therefore, academic excellence is a major goal of students, parents and educators. The need for skilled human resources and knowledge at the tertiary level, for example, is increasing. New areas relevant to the needs of development and the expanding of current economic and social matters of the country become a priority.

The issue of poor academic performance among students of public and private higher education institutions becomes a serious issue because they are expected to be individuals who are knowledgeable and able to handle problems of the current development of a society. This is because students are the hope of the country because they are the ones who will inherit the reins of leadership that will shape the future of a spectacular Malaysia. The problem of deteriorating student academic performance in public and private higher education institutions should be given serious attention by the authorities including the Ministry of Higher Education, universities, parents and also students.

Decline in academic performance is not supposed to happen because I believe that students in public and private higher education institutions are made up of those who are bright and brilliant. The issue of declining academic performance among students of public and private institutions will have a major impact on the process of producing a world class human capital, and it seems to impair the government’s noble intention of making Malaysia the best centre of learning at an international level. The country will also face problems in dealing with the competition of developed countries at the global level.

Culture shock and a care-less attitude is believed to be the reasons of 112, 132 students failing to obtain the results of the grade point average (GPA) 2.0 until the loan of their study gets ultimately frozen as revealed by Datuk Dr. Mohamad Shahrum Osman when he was still the Chairman of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN).

In my opinion, achieving an average GPA below 2.0 is not acceptable, especially for full-time students, more so at institutions of higher learning. According to statistics conducted by the Enforcement Division and the Inspectorate, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education, from January to June this year, 17 private institutions were compounded and one of the offences is by taking students under the minimum requirements. Offence to take students under the minimum requirement is also seen as a major factor that has contributed to the decline of academic performance.

Psychologist for Children and Adolescents, School of Psychology and Human Development, National University Malaysia (UKM), Associate Professor Dr. Khaidir Ismail believes culture shock to be a major problem to the students in their search for identity which led to easily accepting changes in the environment. Aggravating the situation more is when there are a handful of public and private university students influenced by foreign culture until they get drifted and eventually forget the responsibility to learn. It turns out that the freedom and convenience given gets misused by students who feel that they do not need to strive to get good results because they are already ‘successfully’ in university.

Among other causes that led to the decline of academic performance is associated with learning through the wrong techniques. Mastery of knowledge can be enhanced by the proper learning techniques. Most students who perform less than satisfactory are not only unable to manage the time to learn well but they are also less prepared before taking examinations. The wrong attitude and mentality plague students when they learn just to pass the examinations. The attitude of students who often take it easy on any matter is also among the contributors to the decline in their academic performance. Complacency and not striving enough in doing learning activities make them forget their responsibilities as a student. In addition, the culture of 'last minute' is also seen affecting their academic performance.

I am concerned if this situation continues, the country will face a shortage of skilled workers, professionals, academics, economists and others. The level of education will face a serious problem in view of the university's products failing to work for the national and public interest. Thus, I would want to suggest for the authorities especially the Ministry of Higher Education to improve monitoring of academic performance at all public and private higher learning institutions throughout the country. Serious monitoring is viewed as able to help improve the academic performance of tertiary education in Malaysia. Studies and research on the dominant source of the problem enables learning and academic achievement to be at the maximum level.

As a student, I would be very pleased to see Malaysian students succeed in the academic aspects as well as personality-wise. A deep awareness of the importance of a student’s role to the country's future is the key to this problem. Therefore, the cooperation and efforts of all parties are essential in order to improve and enhance the performance of the country’s education quality.


Summary Report on Down to Earth (DTE) to Mahallah

Students' Representative Council (SRC) 2009/2010 has organized Down to Earth (DTE) session to several mahallahs in IIUM. The purpose of this session is to collect data regarding welfare issues in mahallah by conducting a survey to every room in every block in the respective mahallah. By conducting this survey, we can see that there are many complaints and suggestions which need to be highlighted and to be taken into actions from the administration. We have sent letters to principals of respective mahallat on issuing the issues raised up by the students.

No Date of visit/

Mahallah Main Issues Remarks
1. 24th February 2010 /

9.15- 11.30pm
Salahuddin Al-Ayubi1.Wireless issue whereby the server is so poor and not function accordingly

2. They complaint that there are no cleaners working in Mahallah Salahuddin – toilet is not clean

3. The mix up between brothers and sisters scenario is not supposed to happen in this mahalllah of IIUM where there are no proper surveillance by the authority.
Welfare Secretariat had a meeting with Madam Sakinah.

Remarks by Madam Sakinah on issue:


IIUM is in working progress to upgrade wireless internet. Madam Sakinah required more details and specific zone of the poor wireless connection in Mahallah Salahuddin

2. Cleaner

Each block is provided with one cleaner.

Probably, there is issue of lack supervision.

Office will ensure this matter to be brought up to the respective contractor in charge

3. Mixing up brothers and sisters

Action will be taken
2.17th May 2010/

9.15- 11.30pm

Zubair al-Awwam
1.Poor food services provided by cafeteria

2.They also complained about the washing machine service which not applicable

3.The wireless connection is slow
On the 20th of May 2010, SRC met with the owner of the cafeteria, Hj Yusof to discuss about the problems regarding the cafeteria.

He promised to improve his cafeteria services and hoped for the students to give full support and feedback to them so they can be better in serving the students. We have submitted a memo to the owner of the cafeteria
3.26th July 2010 /

9.00 -10.30 pm.
Asiah1.Dissatisfaction with the price of foods in Mahallah café which for them were expensive

2.Complaints about wireless connection which was so slow

3.Suggestion to the administration to provide rooftop along the walkway from Mahallah Asiah to other mahallah
We already receive a response letter from Mahallah Asiah's principal. She concerned on the issues raised by students.

Principal of Mahallah Asiah has sent letters to respective authorities on issues that are beyond mahallah's jurisdiction.
4.26th July 2010 /

9.00 -10.30 pm.
Bilal.1.Complaint regarding wireless service whereas some of them are not able to connect to the connection

2. Some students requested for washing machine to be allocated at each block.

3.The resident of the mahallah also commented about wild dogs around the mahallah

4.Students complained that there are no variety of food especially international food and the price not reasonable

5.Residents of Mahallah Bilal have suggested to the management to provide more parking lots for students and improve the facilities such as water cooler, washing machine, kiosk, cafeteria, badminton and basketball court and others
Comments cannot be forwarded to Principal Bilal since the position is vacant.
5.5th August 2010/

9.00 -10.30 pm.
Safiyyah1. Dissatisfaction on the price of foods in Mahallah café which for them were expensive

2. There were also complaints on students who did not observed the dress code rule.

3. The most pressure issue were complaints on some female students who used to smoke at musolla and level 4 of Block I.
We have sent the report to Principal Mahallah Safiyyah and waiting for the reply.
6.17th August 2010/

10.00-11.00 pm

(After Tarawikh)
Sumayyah.1. Many students were dissatisfied with time of closing the gate of Mahallah Sumayyah at 9 pm which for them is too early.

2. Many students complained on the compound received during the spot check ran by fellows which according to them were not a justifiable compound.

3. They also complained about lamp at AIKOL's stairs to Nusaibah and Sumayyah which are not function.
We have sent the report to Principal Mahallah Sumayyah and waiting for the reply.
7.17th August 2010/

10.00-11.00 pm

(After Tarawikh)
Nusaibah.1. It was too dark at Nusaibah's stairs at night that might endanger the safety of the students who used the stairs.

2. Dissatisfaction with the non-variety of foods in Mahallah café which for them the foods in the cafe are not tasty and low quality.

3. Complaints on some female international students (foreigners) who used to smoke and don't really care about cleanliness; especially in toilet.
We have sent the report to Principal Mahallah Nusaibah and waiting for the reply.

Prepared by,



Welfare Secretariat

Students' Representative Council 2009/2010

Verified by,

Students' Representative Council 2009/2010

Protest Against the Adam Lambert Concert in Malaysia

The presence of gay artiste Adam Lambert to perform in Malaysia receives opposition from various parties, which includes students, NGOs, political parties and the people of Malaysia. The presence of Adam Lambert is seen as something negative for fear of bringing immoral ‘gay’ culture to Malaysian society, especially to young Malaysians.

I strongly protest the Adam Lambert concert in Malaysia based on several important factors. As a young Malaysian, I am concerned that the image and culture shown by the artiste become an example to youths in Malaysia who are already plagued by serious social problems. I see young adults tend to mimic and end up with the lifestyle and culture brought about by these kind of artistes. Thus, I represent the people of Malaysia and also the students protesting and disagreeing with the organization of this concert.

I feel that if we want to see a bright future of Malaysia, the emphasis and affirmation of western culture into Malaysia should not be taken lightly by all parties, especially the government. This is not the first objection from the public on organizing concerts for a western artiste because once upon a time Malaysians had objected to the organization of the Avril Lavigne concert in this country, but actions and responses to the protests were not given much of a thought by the government. If the government continues to take a stand on keeping quiet and not being serious about this matter, I am afraid it will give an adverse impact on the social development of this country which very much emphasizes eastern values.

I am not from those who are anti-entertainment, but I think entertainment should be done in accordance with the norms and ethics of society that are practiced in this country. This is because I view entertainment as an education for the public. If we educate the public wrongly, then the future of our beloved community will be destroyed. Entertainment should be implemented into the community to educate people and also the authorities should examine and screen entertainment organized by certain parties to avoid the existence of negative elements spreading into the community.

It is informed that the party responsible for approving the organization of concerts of international artistes is the Central Agency of Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (PUSPAL) established and developed through the Cabinet meeting on June 6, 2001. It is clear that the approval of a foreign artiste’s concert promotion is under the responsibility of the Minister of Information, Communication and Culture.

Therefore, the ministry involved should establish strict policies in the procedure of the organization of concerts if there are parties who want to invite and sponsor any foreign artiste to perform in Malaysia. For example, only allow artists who are free of immoral images, attitudes and culture to perform in Malaysia. I'm sure there are still many international artists who are relevant to be invited to perform in Malaysia, for example, Maher Zain and Cat Stevens. Therefore, it should not be used as an excuse to the parties involved to continue allowing artistes who have no morals to perform in Malaysia by just thinking about the money alone without regards of the moral collapse that will spread into the community.

This Adam Lambert issue should not be politicized by any party, but should be taken and viewed from a professional and positive perspective for the good of all parties. This has to be taken seriously because it involves the future and the ‘aqidah of Muslims. Hence, a tight surveillance from the government mainly the Ministry of Arts, Heritage and Culture is imperative and very much needed. I invite the people of Malaysia to protest for this artiste’s concert and immoral artistes that can bring adverse effects towards the people of Malaysia.


Islamic Fashion Festival (IFF), Where is the Islamic in it?

Recently, Muslims in Malaysia are exposed to the news of the organisation of the Muslim Fashion Festival at the international level whereby some of the models not only expose their ‘aurah, some were even shown wearing the word ‘Muhammad’ on their chests.


In actuality, the festival held in Monte Carlo on August 9 was not the first time it was held. It has been held several times before but this time the fashion in the festival is most definitely beyond the boundaries thus contrary to Islamic law. We can see and evaluate ourselves based on the photographs, which have been spread wide in the internet, how can we accept women’s fashion that exposes the hair, thighs, legs, chests, backs, shape of the body and then the name ‘Islam’ plastered on the fashion? Whose teachings are that who would say those are Muslim women clothing? Let us ponder God's commandments contained in Surah an-Nur ayah 31, which means;

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards God, that ye may attain Bliss.

We also ponder the meaning of the sayings of the Prophet;
From Abu Hurairah radhiyallahu 'anhu, he said, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhiwasallam said, "Two groups of occupants of Hell that I never saw (during my lifetime): The people who have whips like the tails of cattle and they whip people with it. The second is women who are naked even though they are dressed, these women walk swaying away and the buns of their hair are those like camel humps. And such women as these will not smell the Heavens. Know that the smell of Heaven can already be smelt of such and such a distance."
[Hadith narrated by Muslim]

It is sad when we are told that this festival is organized by people who profess the Syahadah and are Muslims. It is not surprising when disbelievers portrait a bad image of Islam when Muslims themselves have followed in their footsteps. Perhaps the noble intentions behind such a festival is to display an 'Islam' image that is modern, moderate, progressive, and anti-terrorism. But the fact is that this organization seems simply to meet the needs of malicious enemies of Islam and following the West.

Customarily, Muslims in Malaysia would refer to the JAKIM halal stamp in choosing food, beverages, cosmetics, and products which are guaranteed halal and conform to the Islamic laws. In banking and finance it is definite for the bank to have its own Sharia panel to monitor and supervise all the procedures, terms and products branded Islamic so that it really does not deviate from the teachings of Islam. In fact, for all the da’i who want to talk and give lectures related to religious affairs in the mosque also need credentials from the Islamic religious department of the particular state as license of approval to speak about Islam.

So, we should ask the organizers of IFF where is the 'Halal stamp' of JAKIM which allows the name of Islam affixed with the name of their program? Or who are the panel of Islamic scholars and clerics that monitors and gives approval to that fashion given the brand of Islam? If such a thing could not be proved, it is reasonable for Muslims to rise and urge for the organizers to drop the word Islam from the festival in order to save the dignity of our religion from being tarnished in such a way. However, if the organisers still want to continue their noble intentions to promote Islam around the world, I DEMAND for the set up of a panel of Sharia experts that would monitor the designs to be issued and ensure that all relevant aspects of the festival is in compliance with Islamic law and free from immoral elements.

I also urge the organizers to publicly apologize for their actions which show fashion that goes against Islamic law. They must also promise not to repeat this heinous act in the future. In closing, let us ponder the words of Allah in Surah al- Ahzab verse 36, which means;

It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by God and His Apostle to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys God and His Apostle, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.