Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 6. 1971
It would seem to me that the AGM did itself no honour in passing a motion purporting to refuse the Malaysian Students' Association the right to use any of the Union facilities.
I seem to have been under the illusion that the Union was to be regarded as a Forum of free speech, and that means anybody can say anything—whether that person has been told to say it, or speaks of himself. I therefore regard, with a great deal of suspicion, the argument that we should not allow the MSA the use of the building because we would be advancing or endorsing or whatever the Malaysian Government's propaganda machine.
The Malaysian Government's attitude on certain issues (including the right of freedom of speech) approaches that of South Africa. But is that any reason why we should follow their lead and refuse a group, not only the right to use the building for its meetings, but also to refuse it for dances and other social activities.
I am disappointed, to say the least, at those Association members who saw fit, without hearing the MSA's viewpoint, to try and prevent the MSA using the facilities—which are provided for every student, individually and collectively.
Do I support the Malaysian Government and its coercive and repugnant attempts to set up a mouthpiece (if this is in fact the case)? I do not but then neither do I find acceptable the measures which the AGM saw fit to take.
Anyone should be permitted a fair hearing. Appreciate the disgust I feel for those who deny it.
Graeme Collins President VUWSA