KUALA LUMPUR, 23 JAN: Constitution Expert, Dr Abdul Aziz Bari explained that academics have to liberate themselves from any censure, and not just make the university as a place to earn a living.
“That is why now we hear all sorts of things, someone who is not qualified to become a professor becomes a professor, someone who is not qualified for a PhD gets a PhD, thus you can imagine how student quality is.
“That’s why things like Listen, Listen, Listen happen.What’s more serious is that she will not listen to others but wants them to listen to her,” he said yesterday as a panelist of the Academic Freedom and Fundamental Rights Forum in the Chinese Assembly Hall, here.
He said that academic freedom is where an academician is allowed to talk, teach and disseminate knowledge according to their discipline and approach just like they are instructors of law and constitution that has its own approach.
“What happened to Bawani is not something new. even I am not allowed into IIUM when invited to be a panelist in a forum organised by students.
“After such an incident happens, all parties, including ministers, and deans run off. This is what is happening in universities now,” he said.
Another panelist, Dr Maszlee Malik said that the universities in this country today act like factories that create labour that is needed by the market.
“The market needs engineers, doctors and architects of a certain number thus, it is produces as much as needed regardless of quality and impact of knowledge on society.
“So the poor remains poor, paupers remain paupers while the rich get richer by acquiring projects through leakages corruption and so on.
“University graduates that are produces continue to remain silent and are only implicit i their respective jobs,” he said.
According to him, universities that should produce knowledgeable groups, no longer play its role.
“For academics who have an interest, they just look at their political masters to acquire title and rank. They are afraid to receive a letter of reprimand,” he said.
Apart from Dr Aziz Bari and Dr Maszlee, the other panelist was Bawani KS, the UUM student that got attention regarding the ‘Listen, Listen, Listen’ video clip on YouTube.