Universiti Malaya Portal Hacked; A Summary Of The Whole UM Debacle & The Surprising Ministerial Silence

Universiti Malaya (UM) had their cashless E-payment and records portal compromised last Friday in what was a hack fueled by the convocation fracas that took place recently.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, UM, along with three other public universities, organized a “Malay Dignity” Conference (I use inverted commas because how can you not with a name like that?!) in early October and the event was attended by around 5000 people, with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and several Umno, PAS and Pakatan Harapan leaders among the attendees.

As you would expect from a conference with the phrase Malay Dignity in it’s title, it was met with mixed responses. Though, that’s putting it lightly. It was actually quite universally panned, mainly because speeches and resolutions at the congress were (surprise, surprise) borderline racist.

This is where the fiasco begins. UM vice-chancellor Abdul Rahim Hashim came under fire over the alleged racial undertones in his speech. Among his critics was UM student activist Wong Yan Ke, who actually unfurled a placard accusing him of racism at his graduation ceremony recently. Not the best time and place to protest but you know whats worse? UM proceeded to file a police report against him and apparently withheld his graduation scroll (which he has since obtained, through no help from UM).

Anyway, now that you’re up to date, it turns out that Wong isn’t the only one who feels the need to take matters into his own hands. With the hacking of the site, especially with the the defaced portal carrying the message that includes the hashtags #NoRasis and #UndurVC, there can be no doubt that there’s a growing number of people unsatisfied with how UM has handled the whole debacle. Especially after the University also barred an accounting graduate from receiving his scroll in fears that he too would stage a similar protest. That’s some Minority Report Level of policing.

It makes no sense how the VC is getting away with this. What’s even more surprising is the ministerial silence on the whole issue. Surely, our Minister of Education, Mr. Maszlee Malik has something to say about the fiasco? This does after all fall under his remit. At the very least, put out a statement.

What about the other ministers who are so vocal about issues outside their remit? Is it sad that we live in a world where our Youth and Sports Minister has so much to say about an issue regarding FoodPanda but when it comes to something that threatens the very structure and integrity of our educational system, there’s nothing but dead silence? (The answer is yes, in case you were wondering)

Which leads me to THE most surprising thing to come out of this whole debacle: Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin being the voice of reason. The former Johor MB has actually come out and said that UM brought this upon themselves.

“My concern that I have voiced about the organising of Malay Dignity Congress has come true.

“UM and public higher learning institutions, which aligned itself by having the congress, have brought its authorisation to a level (that’s) difficult to defend,”

Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin

Of course, I’m sure he had his own rhetoric behind saying this. He is after all, a politician. My point is this: More should be done to pressure the Vice-Chancellor into resigning.

Organizing a borderline racist titled congress being well aware it would be the platform for certain people to flaunt their racially driven agendas is one thing but actually being that guy whilst holding the title of Vice-Chancellor of what is supposed to be the most prestigious university in the country? Only in Malaysia, I guess.




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