Kit Siang calls on Malaysian authorities to mend fences with Malaysian students in New Zealand
Parliamentary Opposition Leaders and DAP Secretary General, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, has called on the Malaysia High Commission and the Malaysia authorities to mend fence with Malaysia students in New Zealand and to re-establish a relationship of trust and confidence with Malaysian students there.
Mr. Lim said he was surprised to find that the Malaysian High Commission had been banned by the Students’ Union both of the Victoria University of Wellington and the Auckland University. The relationship between the Malaysia High Commission and the Malaysia Student unions with effective representation of the majority of Malaysian students in the various New Zealand universities were also very strained if not ruptured.
Mr. Lim said this was most unhealthy and undesirable, and the Malaysian High Commission in New Zealand should take the initiative to establish a wholesome relationship with Malaysian students in New Zealand. After all, the purpose of a High Commission overseas is to look after the welfare of Malaysian students there, and not to carry out a running feud.
Mr. Lim, who said this after speaking to Malaysian students in Victoria University of Wellington updating them on development in Malaysia, said he would discuss this matter with the Education Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, in his return home.
Mr. Lim said that from his talks with Malaysian students in Australia and New Zealand so far, the private students, felt neglected and ignored by the Malaysian authorities. This should not be continued, as the Malaysia High Commission should not only look after the welfare of the government sponsored students, but also that of every one of the private student abroad. This is important as many of the private students face enormous problems of adjustment, and at times financial strain and other forms of pressure, leading to one case of suicide in Auckland a few months ago.
Mr. Lim also told the Malaysian students that he would take up with Datuk Musa about his promise that a revolving students loan fund would be established for Malaysian students in New Zealand.
Mr. Lim said the Malaysian government should be more vigorous in its representation with both the Australian and New Zealand governments on the question of increase of university fees and the establishment of quotas for Malaysian students in New Zealand, as the Malaysian government has not been able to provide adequate university places at home. Mr. Lim will meet Malaysian students in Auckland at his next stop.