SHAH ALAM: Don’t fall for Pro-Mahasiswa’s tricks and ploys.
This is the message to students by Pro Mahasiswa’s rivals, Pro-Aspirasi, ahead of the showdown between the two student factions in the Malaysian campus elections tomorrow.
With 24 hours to go until students from 13 universities nationwide cast their ballots for the respective factions on who will represent them at their respective Students Representative Council, the run up to polling day has not been short of controversy.
The families of six Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Pro-Mahasiswa candidates today claimed that they received phone calls threatening the lives of the students if they do not pull out of the on-going campus polls.
It was alleged that some had even been threatened with kidnapping.
However, Pro-Aspirasi have moved quickly to dismiss the allegations as mere political ploys.
Pro-Aspirasi spokesman Hafiz Ariffin said they have witnessed such stunts before, especially in last year’s campus elections.
“This isn’t new. Pro-Mahasiswa used the same strategy last year in the Universiti Malaya (UM) election and it worked for them,” he told Malaysian Digest.
Hafiz said last year, a female candidate for Pro-Mahasiswa was allegedly abducted during the campaign period.
“This sparked a massive outrage on campus. Even her mother came to campus and made a tearful speech to the students about the incident. Interestingly, she turned up on voting day and won.
“It was also later discovered that the girl’s mother was a member of the opposition,” he said.
In UM last year, Pro-Mahasiswa won 23 out of 41 seats, clinching nine general seats and 14 faculty seats. Pro-Aspirasi won 18 faculty seats.
Hafiz said this was evidence that Pro-Mahasiswa was sticking to a ‘tried and tested’ strategy.
“This is nothing more than a ploy to garner sympathy votes. We’ve seen this all before,” he said.
Pro-Aspirasi leaders had in a Press conference last week expressed wariness over what Pro-Mahasiswa had in store in the run-up to voting day. Its representatives had speculated that Pro-Mahasiwa could have “a trick or two” up their sleeves as voting day edged closer.
Hafiz, meanwhile, urged students to go to the polls with a clear mind.
“Push aside all the drama, sentiment and controversy surrounding the election. This is all geared towards confusing students.
“Students just need to take into account which candidates can serve them best, which ones will push their agendas through, which ones will have the necessary capabilities to ensure that the students’ best interests are taken into account, minus the drama.
“Leave the controversies and chaos-mongering to the others,” he said.
Pro-Aspirasi had last week launched its ‘Manifesto Aspirasi Mahasiswa’, which narrows down Pro-Aspirasi’s plans for the students interests.
Among its key points include bringing about change through an open mind and rational discussions, instead of resorting to demonstrations and protests. The basis of its manifesto also includes emphasis on academic excellence, student welfare, character-building, ensuring a conducive learning environment for students as well as improve students’ marketability in the working world.
Students will go to the ballot boxes at the following universities tomorrow:
Universiti Malaya; Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; Universiti Putra Malaysia; Universiti Sains Malaysia; Universiti Malaysia Sarawak; Universiti Malaysia Sabah; Universiti Teknologi Malaysia; Universiti Malaysia Terengganu; Universiti Malaysia Kelantan; Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia; Universiti Malaysia Pahang; Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia; and Universiti Utara Malaysia.
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia students will cast their votes on September 27. Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris meanwhile, is undergoing its voting process today. Results are still undetermined at Press time.