|I want to serve...|
Fundamental Liberties, Part 2, Malaysian Constitution, Article 10
On June 1, 1964, the United States Supreme Court strikes down Washington laws requiring state employees to take loyalty oaths. The loyalty oath statutes are challenged by more than 60 faculty members, staff and students of the University of Washington in a case organised by the Washington chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the UW chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).
I do not know what to make of it. I am confused.
I had that experience with the previous administration of the late Dr Ahmad Fawzi Basri (May God bless his soul). My wife and I do not wish to pledge our allegiance to a vice-chancellor that is out to retard my career. I speak from experience, lots of personal experience on this matter. I did not wish to work under him.
It states that I will have to obey orders however the vice-chancellor defines these as. What if I disagree with orders that are politically motivated or ones that are antithetical to the philosophy of a university? I have a simple solution to resolve this issue - remove especially those two clauses. They are only suitable for totalitarian regimes that are evolving into fascist states.
The lessons of the American Revolution taught me this too. I Iearned this through teaching American history in the United States. I want to teach especially Malaysian youth the proper and rational way to revolt against all forms of injustices - through radical but rational ways of thinking. We must continue to help the poor, the oppressed and the marginalised of all races speak up and design ways to make their lives more meaningful. This nation is heading towards ruins.
Students can ask any rational and relevant questions in a public forum and not get suspended for two semesters. Even elementary schools in the United States value, promote and celebrate freedom of inquiry in classrooms. I speak from experience in this area. The Americans removed their Akujanji many decades ago. They will laugh at our universities or having such a document.
The petition, endorsed by numerous prominent non-governmental organisations (NGOs) must be taken seriously by the Malaysian public as well. It renews the work of others especially the Academic Union of Universiti Malaya on the need to remove the symbols of intellectual shackles. I hope the universities are passionately discussing this important petition and acting upon it.