From the Star, 3 August 2008. KUALA LUMPUR: The Government believes that allowing university students to join political parties will restrict their development into holistic first-class human capital, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said. He said that if students were allowed to join political parties, they would have to adhere to the party's policies and would not be allowed to offer their own independent opinions on issues raised. “This is simply a waste of talent and is not beneficial to students who should seek to learn the most at this stage of their lives,” he said when opening the Second Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit here yesterday. However, he noted that under the new University and University Colleges Act (Amendment) Bill, all political party members would be allowed to take part in “any fruitful and intellectual discourse in public universities”. The Bill is expected to be debated soon in Parliament. “This means bringing about a more responsible form of politics based on knowledge. I don't think any political party will use street campaigning methods on campus because these are people with knowledge who will be able to make their own judgment. Khaled said that another reason for the continued ban was that the Government did not want public university students, who are heavily subsidised, to “play around” and waste taxpayers' money. Speaking on the topic of Student Activism as an Element of Human Capital Development, the minister emphasised that the key to leadership is knowledge. “Hence, student activism will attempt to boost student leaders' knowledge in the sense that they will gain insights into the real world and are able to apply the knowledge learned in lectures and tutorials into management of real situations,” he said. My comment: I agreed that students should be banned from actively participatating in politics as it would divert their main focus which is to study. Polictics is generally classifiesd as 'dirty' and 'inhumane'. Some are againt this as they are attracted to the FAME, POWER and MONEY. However, stressing on the freedom, how sure public debate involving politicians is allowed in public universities especially if they are from the oppositions. I doubt on this. From around the blogs: Kian Meng at educationmalaysia.blogspot How to develop our students? I agree wholeheartedly with the new Minister of Higher Education, Khaled Nordin, that "that allowing university students to join political parties will restrict their development into holistic first-class human capital". In addition, I also agree that "another reason for the continued ban was that the Government did not want public university students, who are heavily subsidised, to “play around” and waste taxpayers' money." In addition, to fulfill the objective of developing our university students, I hope that the esteemed minister can consider the following proposals. I propose that: (i) The esteemed Minister considers banning students from going to mamak stalls and coffee shops. These are places where nonsensical and unproductive coffee shop 'chatter' takes place much of it involving the topics of political interest of the day. Since we do not want our best and brightest to corrupt their ears and to waste their time by listening to this nonsense, we need to ban our students from going to these places. (ii) The esteemed Minister considers banning students from watching football matches especially those involving foreign teams. Watching football matches, which lasts for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes (including the break), and more, if we take into account the prematch and postmatch shows, is an extremely unproductive use of time. Our students could use this time more productively, for example, in discussing the latest developments in biotechnology and nanotechnology and in collaborations to build Proton a new hybrid engine. In addition, we do not want our young minds to be influenced by the teams of the decadent West who are not only footballers but also flaunt their decadent lifestyles off the field. However, we should make exceptions for our students to watch matches involving Malaysian teams since this shows their solidarity with their own 'local' teams and contributes to nation building and increases their patriotism. (iii) The esteemed Minister considers banning students from watching movies in the cinemas. Watching movies is another big waste of time, time that could be better spent on academic pursuits and developing one's own human capital. In addition, many movies produced in the West promote decadent values and values which are not consistent with our Asian culture. For example, we would not want our students to be unduly influenced by the portrayal of vigilante justice and 'cool' criminals in the latest Batman movie. However, again, exceptions should be made for movies produced locally since we are supporting local industry by watching these movies. However, local movies which promote values that are not in line with national values should be banned including movies such as Sepet (which promotes inter-racial dating) and The Big Durian (which glorifies the struggles of the communists in Malaysia). (iv) The esteemed Minister considers blocking access to websites such do not promote the development of human capital in all public universities and if possible in all private colleges as well. Websites which provides access to disturbing information on matters of little importance such as the BBC, Malaysiakini, the New York Times, should be at the top of such a list. In doing so, the minister will prevent students from wasting countless number of hours spent surfing on these sites, time that could be better spent on coming up with inventions that will promote the growth of industry and technological advancement in the country. (v) The esteemed Minister considers implementing a rule which requires all students in public universities to carry at least one book where ever they go on and off campus. This is so that students do not waste previous time when they are waiting for buses or sitting in their friend's cars or waiting in a queue or even sitting in the john, time that could be spent reading and developing their human capital. To further encourage this kind of behavior, the esteemed Minister require all public universities to have a monthly contest to reward a 'lucky' student who is seen to be carrying more than 5 books (either in his or her bag or in his or her hands) in public view. The 'reward' should be in the form of a 1000RM book voucher, to be spent in the university bookshop. (vi) The esteemed Minister considers hiring unemployed graduates from public universities to carry out a massive surveillance plan that would ensure that the above mentioned rules are followed. They will be posted at strategic locations in and around the campus including mamak shops, cinemas, bus stops and shopping malls. This way, not only will it solve the problem of unemployed graduates in our country, but it will more than pay for itself through the development of human capital that will inevitably occur once the attention of our students are diverted from such unproductive activities including politics, sports, movies and so forth.