Malaysian Students Disgrace Cambridge
(from Seachange Malaysia, Aug 26-27 edition)

If the Cambridge University Malaysia Society, organisers of the "Malaysia in the New Millennium" conference had really cared about the substance of the topic, they would not have invited as keynote speaker, the person who has done the most to damage the country's future prospects.

Neither would they have relished as speakers, a number of pro-Mahathir minions such as Dr Mohd. Noordin Sopiee, Zeti Akhtar Aziz and Dr. Rais Yatim who, between them, would struggle to emit even a single original or provoking thought.

Where indeed are the learned academics who would intellectually challenge the immediate and extended audience in this supposedly "academic" conference? Are they really too busy to share the limelight with a Prime Minister, as the co-chairman claims, or do they disdain doing do in the bleak light of the Anwar imbroglio?

Perhaps they recognise that any conference addressed by Dr. Mahathir can scarcely be non-political as the man has not got a single non-political bone in his body. Perhaps they are unwilling to associate themselves with a nation that has greeted the new millennium with a Stalinist show trial, police brutality, and a judiciary stinking to high heaven.

Perhaps also, the organisers are not so naive as to be unable to understand the political nature of their conference, being students not only of Cambridge University, but also of the Mahathir School of Lies and Hypocrisy.

It is more than likely that Mahathir will use the platform to make some disgraceful comments about Anwar's two trials and alleged immorality. It would be ironic that a distinguished centre of learning becomes the platform for a disreputable leader to hurl insults at the intelligence of the general public.

The conference organisers would do well to reflect on their part in setting the stage for a human rights abuser with near dictatorial powers. What is the point of being "highly educated" if one has still got no feel for justice, freedom and democracy? For the sake of everyone, the conference had best be re-named “Malaysia’s Unmaking in the New Millennium.”

Tsu Nam
Seachange Malaysia (


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Anwar Ibrahim, 53, is a prisoner of conscience.  He is under a 15 year jail sentence after a show trial held by the regime of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.  To find out more about his struggle please visit