KUALA LUMPUR, 18 JAN: Groups of university students throughout the country today expressed their support for KS Bawani who is becoming more known because of a video recording of a forum titled “Seiringkah Mahasiswa dan Politik?” (Are Students And Politics in Tandem?) at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).
Located at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) here this morning, representatives of various student groups filled the space of a media conference titled ‘Students Solidarity With Bawani’ organised by the Coalition for Free Education (GMPP) to express strong support for the second-year student majoring in Law at UUM.
“We congratulate sister Bawani for her high spirit of socialism in opposing the culture of stupidity formed by the government regime at higher institutes of education for a long time.
“We also consider her spirit as one of the triggers for the people’s uprising as a whole to fight against tyranny and oppression of the regime,” said a student activist, Khalid Ismath in her solidarity speech this morning.
Meanwhile, a representative from Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA), Lee Kok Wai demanded for the President of 1Malaysia Women’s Voice (SW1M – Suara Wanita Satu Malaysia), Sharifah Zohra Jabeen Syed Shah Miskin to openly apologise to Bawani for her action of depriving Bawani’s right to speak as a student.
“We demand that she apologise for her priggish attitude and arrogance.
“We also hope that (university) students from across the country has the same spirit as Bawani to oppose this ‘listen’ culture,” Kok Wai explained.
However, Bawani in her speech said that personally she never intended to claim an apology from Sharifah, she even asked for negative comments against Sharifah to be stopped.
“This is not my issue, it is not Sharifah’s issue and I ask please do not associate this with racist issues.
“Instead, we have to unite to fight for a more important issue which is the issue of free education and students’ right to speak,” said the young lady who also holds a Bachelor of Psychology from the National University of Malaysia (UKM).
Recently, virtual citizens in particular, were served with the forum footage which clearly shows Bawani being denied the right to speak and express her views due to the immature actions shown by Sharifah Zohra who was acting as the forum moderator.
Following the disclosure of the footage, Sharifah Zohra received criticism from many quarters, including from Umno-BN themselves that describe her actions as outrageous.
Instead, Bawani has become an icon to students, receiving thousands of congratulatory and solidarity messages for her courage to argue for free education at a forum organised by SW1M, which is seen as a form of student ‘brainwashing’ programme.