Friday, June 15, 2007

No To Relocation of Universiti Malaya

UPDATE: Rocky says it's safe for now. He has it here. It's a non-denial denial on the part of Guocoland (M) Bhd of its reported bid to develop the UM site.

My earlier posting:

A newspaper report on Tuesday said that a company had submitted a bid to develop the Universiti Malaya site and to relocate the university to Sepang.
Rocky has the story here.
Ruhanie Ahmad has his take here.

The UM Alumni Association, in response, issued a statement yesterday (Thursday June 14), expressing their objection,

Bernama has the story:

The Universiti Malaya Alumni Association has objected to any plan to relocate the university to allow its present site to be redeveloped by a private company.
Its president, Datuk Noordin Abdul Razak, said the university sat on a strategic location and was complemented by the presence of public transport services like buses and LRT which had greatly benefited the students.
The university management was surprised with the newspaper report and said that it would not let the university to be relocated.

It is worrying that there is even such a proposal because it means that nothing is sacred.
You get thinking that every prime real estate is for the asking and/or the taking.
Just the idea that someone is thinking about taking over the UM site to have it re-developed sends shivers down my spine.
You get even more worried thinking that the proposal might just get accepted.
You have come to realize that this seems to be the time for people to be making loads of money whatever way they can. To make a killing. and getting away with it.
History, heritage and a sense of pride do not seem to have a place in this scheme of things.

I, for one, pray that the proposal remains simply that. I am sure I am not alone.


Jorji said...

Start a petition now. Save UM and destroy all monsters.

UM is the best place to jog! i mean, study and jogging.

Unknown said...

I second your view. I'm not a graduate of UM, though. but I do believe the moment an education center is being relocated without relevant reasonings, and on the place it once stood, a commercial building erected, the country is saying that education means nothing to us.

on top of that, UM is one of the historical icons we have in this country. i can accept the international airport being relocated; we can make use of the increased capacity. but the university? on what ground do they justify the relocation?

Bergen said...

The time will come when they will have to cross that bridge i.e to relocate or to stay put. In the end it's gonna be a business decision i.e money vs a sense of history. In the end, money wins the day. What's a few protests in the blog, or a small-scale street demonstration with banners compare to the number of new contractors this whole thing is going to create. Not to mention suppliers i.e steel, cement, rocks, wires, bulbs, signage, paint. Think about it, it's going to set the economic wheels going. It's going to make a lot of people rich.

As to the site of this UM, it's congested. It's no longer 21st Century. In fact it is so so, hmmm, Anwar Ibrahim, or Hishammudin. We need a new, spanking new location with 21st century architecture, wireless broadband.

I believe they're gonna do it, ma'am. It's been done. Lay out the projected cash flow and the rest are gonna come together like a well-rehearsed stage play.

Maybe all this is just rumors? There's a smoke, there's gotta be a fire.

Trashed said...

At one point in time, the historical Stadium Merdaka was sold to a company controlled by the well connected businessman by the name of Tan Sri Halim Saad. Plans were afoot to take it down and build a commercial development in its place.

Rational heads prevailed or maybe they just could not raise the funidng. Either way, I think it is now owend by PNB and hopefully they will protect the nation's heritage.

But as this news of UM goes, how do we know what is "sacred" ?

Anonymous said...

Jika kita percaya pepatah dan kata-kata nenek moyang, percayalah "Jika tiada angin pokok takkan bergoyang" atau pun ada orang yang menggoyangkannya supaya ia tumbang dan mati.

If we believe in the wisdom of the old, believe ye "There's no smoke without fire"...

Hi&Lo said...

I agree with Radical Scope that if historic value of UM is relegated to commercial interest, it means education means nothing to us as a nation.

Anonymous said...

Sis Ena
There are so many illustrious UM graduates among the present Cabinet members. Let us see how gallantly or meekly they defend the much-loved UM.

Azmi said...

Hmm, makes me wonder who is in Guocoland? Would Oxford and Cambridge relocate their campuses and lose out on all the vintage memories of days gone by? No matter where the UM is in the global listing of universities, it is still a Malayan/Malaysian icon.
We should preserve it. Look at how much of the rakyat's money is being spent to restore Stadium Merdeka to it's former 1957 glory just because someone made a stupid decision in the past.....stress lah fikir that all these is happening there are other meaningful constructions that can be done - rumah anak yatim, warga emas, the hardcore poor but fixing something that ain't broken...?

Anonymous said...

dear all! according to bernama, najib has commented on the um issue. of course, the dpm as usual plays it safe, preferring to wait for a report from the relevant minister before saying anything of significance. perhaps he wants to make sure no one of greater significance than him was involved in giving the invisible nod to the property developer for the proposed project. if najib was smarter, he would shoot first and ask questions later. this is the UM, man, he can't go wrong!

June 16, 2007 13:19 PM

Najib Seeks Explanation From Mustapa On UM Relocation

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will seek an explanation from Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed and Universiti Malaya administration on the plan by a property developer to acquire the site of the country's premier university for commercial development.

The Deputy Prime Minister said he would ask for a report from Mustapa and the university's administration on the proposed relocation plan.

"I cannot make any decision without talking to the minister concerned," he told reporters after witnessing the departure of trainees for the third and fourth series of the National Service (NS) programme at the Bukit Jalil Stadium ground here today.

The government would get the feedback from the UM administration first before making a decision, Najib said when asked to comment on plans by Guocoland (M) Berhad, a company controlled by millionaire Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, to relocate UM to Sepang in order to develop the site into a commercial and residential hub worth RM10 billion.

He said the matter is still being discussed at the UM administration level and had not been referred to the cabinet.

The company's proposal to relocate UM had met with objections and arouse the anger of various parties including former vice-chancellor Royal Prof Ungku Aziz.

An enraged Ungku Aziz described as "crazy" and "ill-bred" the plan to acquire and develop the UM site.

He said the developer had no sense of patriotism as he was prepared to offer a price for the priceless national heritage.

The UM Board of Governors had also asked the university's administration to write to the Securities Commission to object to any move to shift the university.

Its acting chairman Datuk Dr Zulkefli A. Hasan said the board was in the dark over the plan to relocate the university to Sepang.

The relocation plan was also opposed by the university's academic staff union, UM Alumni Association, lecturers, administrators and students.

Anonymous said...

Whose stupid idea was it in the first place?

Who was the person who gave the idea to relocate UM and make tons of money turning the place into a commercial center. Who ah?

Mesti ada orang yang tamak gila, yang tak ada otak yang hanya nak buat duit.

Tak habis-habis golongan keparat ini.

Strangely, nobody seems to know about it, neither the PM nor his deputy.

Hairan kan? Tiba-tiba kita dengar cerita nie.

And why does Najib need to ask Mustapha Mohamed for an explanation? Why?

Is Mustapaha in the know?

Tak habis-habis nak minta report, laporan lah, feedback lah

(Najib - The government would get the feedback from the UM administration first before making a decision)

Woi Najib, can you make a decison. Cant you just say "tak boleh" like what prof Ungku Aziz said.

What is this country coming to?

Nothing is sacred any more. Jual lah & gadailah segala harta yang kita ada.

Fasal duit & greed. semua boleh hilang akal dan gelap mata.

Anonymous said...

no body want this relocation to happen. it is unecessary. There was a petition going around, which ofcourse, i was one to sign.