TASEK UTARA 1974: STUDENT-SQUATTER SOLIDARITY
In a vain attempt to protect those responsible the authorities, through the NEC and the FRU, tried to create a situation of chaos and infighting.
Then they could use the flimsy explanation that the whole incident was essentially an internal affair - with factional differences, etc.
Moreover, if this happened, the authorities could make use of this excuse to close down the campus, arrest a few students, sack a few among the active, intimidate the rest, ban UMSU and a few other student bodies.
The developments after Sept. 21, suggest this. On Monday, Sept 23rd, the Special Branch together with the NEC, spread rumours that fighting would break out on campus.
Later, Dr. Mahathir
made the following statement in Kedah:
However, the predicted violence did not occur, and Dr. Mahathir had no excuse to close down the campus or to carry out other schemes.
Again, on Thursday, Sept. 26, Dr. Mahathir reiterated that the University of Malaya campus would be closed down in the event of any violence breaking out. (Berita Harian, Sept. 27).
The Education Minister seems to have been directly involved in the crisis on campus by giving instructi6ns to the University Council and those within the NEC.
The press cooperated and even suggested that the campus should be closed in order to carry out the arrests, sacking and banning mentioned above.
The New Strait Times, (Sept. 28) made a similar call. The question is: Do these people think that the students in the University of Malaya and other universities in the country together with the masses, cannot see through their dirty tricks?
Do they expect the students to be intimidated into surrenderingjust like that? In its Oct. 5 editorial, the New Strait Times noted: "Student activism is here to stay." However, it went on to argue: "But it must keep within the legal limit, it must be responsible and constructive."