Please stop the further embarassment for UM

Dear Professor,
I am a UM alumni of the 1997 batch. I thank the university for what she has helped prepare in me, amongst other, a mind free to think, to question and to speak up for what I believe in.

Therefore, I fully endorse Ms Foong's call for the university to withdraw the show-cause letter to Prof Chia over her posting in internet on the SJKC Damansara issue.

Whether one agree with her view is another question, how can a professor be punished simply because she has spoken out for the public interest ?

Are we encouraging academicians to keep quiet on anything that may embarass the government even if when that is necessary for public interest ? Since when keeping the government's face has become one of the universities' missions ?

In my humber opinion, withdrawal is the only way that can prevent further embarassment to this oldest university of the nation.

actually have passed such legislation called the Statutory Bodies Act 2000 (Disciplinary and Surcharge) (Akta Badan-badan Berkanun 2000, Tatatertib dan Surcaj), Regulation 18 (1), prohibiting a university officer from making public statements, whether oral or written, that criticise government policies without written approval from the education minister.

It is a shame that some of the MPs who have supported the act may have graduated from our university.

It is a shame that some politicians have shamelessly employed the act to pressure the university to silence the critics when they realize that they cannot win in a public debate.

Sir, as the present Vice Chancellor of the University, you can stop the further shame brought to the University. You can save the remaining proud tradition of the University for us: the alumnis, the present undergraduates and the future students.

You have the wisdom to do what is right and we respectfully hope it will guide you in carrying out your duty. Thank you.

Best regards,

Wong Chin Huat FEA, 1997.

Dear Professor,
I am an UM alumni. I graduated from the University in 1980, my years in the University has prepared me well for life and for that, I am eternally grateful to the University and its staff members.

Reflecting on what is that I gained from my years at the University that is serving me so well, I have come to the conclusion that it is how an university education trains me to think critically, ask the right questions, and insist on an answer that fits the values of fairness, justice, equity and responsibility. This is the University of Malaya in the hearts of all its alumni, Sir, don't take that away from us.

The news that the University asked Prof Chia to show cause on her postings in the internet related to the SRJC Damansara is shocking, and painful to any UM Alumni.

What has happened to our University; Whatever has happend to the nobility of purpose of our university as the champion of ideals and voice of reason for the community, watching out for the community and fulfilling the intellectual's role of guarding the public interest.

What Prof Chia did was exactly that; she was discharging her responsibility as a public intellectual, we all should applaud, salute and celebrate her actions.

I hope the University withdraws that request to show cause; it was mistake, it is uncalled for and not necessary at all. And you, Sir, has the wisdom to recognize that.

Sir, as the present Vice Chancellor of the University, you have the responsibility to carry on the proud tradition of the University, and you must not take that pride away from us.

Please remember, your action is being regretted by thousands of UM Alumni, and we respectfully remind you of your role.

Best wishes.

Foong Wai Fong UM Graduate 1980. Faculty of Economics & Administration