Friday, April 20, 2012
Dataran Attack: Barisan Nasional Has Lost the Young Voters
I do not agree with the abolishment of PTPTN and its mounting unpaid loans to students but I defend the rights of the students to conduct a peaceful demonstration.
PTPTN has two major issues. The government has a duty to ensure that it implements an effective mechanism to collect back the loans. Some borrowers are not happy with some administrative charges. Their grouses have to be sorted out but repayment must still be enforced.
I am appalled by the use of thugs to cause physical harm to the protesting students at Dataran Merdeka. It is frivolous for Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to suggest the safety of anyone at Dataran Merdeka is in the hands of the DBKL.
The role of police is to ensure safety of all Malaysians regardless of where they are. It appears to a lot of people that the same group of thugs had participated in similar attacks in the past.
If no action is taken against them, Hishammuddin cannot blame us for thinking that these thugs are enjoying the protection of the state. If the ruling regime is not involved, I would like to urge Hishammuddin to instruct the police to make arrests in the next 24 hours.
It appears to me that Barisan Nasional does not want to win the general election. It has just given the youth votes to the Opposition on a silver platter.
PAS is very clever to capitalize on the situation. It has instructed its members to provide protection to the students round the clock.
If the police and DBKL continue to be unwilling to do the right thing, the situation may descend into a free for all. By then, it is inevitable for Minister Hishammuddin to step down because he has been behaving very strangely lately. He should have resigned during the Bersih 2.0 fiasco.