Salient. An organ of student opinion at Victoria University, Wellington. Vol. 23. No. 7. Monday, August 8, 1960.
Malayans Enter Fray
Malayans Enter Fray
Sir,—Although the article in the June issue referred to the Fiji Students' Association, Malayan students felt that it held the indirect implication that it was under those mentioned circumstances of being "rejected" or intentions of "keeping to themselves" that their Association was formed. Contrary to what was Implied, one of the objects of the Malayan Students' Association as laid down in its constitution is "to foster closer relations with our N.Z. Hosts." To say that any group of overseas students are being rejected is just sheer nonsense. As far as the Malayan students are concerned, our presence, far from being rejected, is in tact, in certain University clubs very much desired. True, the membership of the M.S.A. is confined only to students from Malaya and Singapore and does not admit non-Malayans or non-Singaporeans, Nor are we affiliated to the Students' Association, Victoria University, for the reason that we consider it not practical. Our Association does not hold regular meetings and the few occasional functions we have in the year are always entirely financed by members, The main event of each year is the celebration of the Malayan Independence and each member usually stumps up around £2/10/-. It is quite unfair to expect a non-Malayan member to help finance our functions which are mainly for our visitors, or to pay anywhere near £2/10/- to celebrate someone else's Independence Day.
I cannot speak on behalf of Asian students but as far as the Malayan students are concerned I could say that nearly all of us are participating to our limit as much as time will allow in other outside activities in order partly to get to know New Zealanders better and in turn to get them to know us better. Malayan students are active participants of the Badminton Club and the U.N. Club Wellington Branch). Membership is also found in the International Club, the Table Tennis Club, the Maori Club, the Chemistry Society, and the Commerce Club. Malayan students also are frequently called upon to give talks to local organisations and render cultural items in public and private functions. On the private and more informal level we have made it a point to invite Kiwis to our flats for meals at least once a fortnight. In our parties we never miss our Kiwi friends.
There is however, always room for improvement in the relationship between overseas and N.Z students. Any concrete suggestions we Malayan students could take up would always be welcomed. We, on our part, are always ready to make new friends.
I am, etc.,
Chiam See Tong,
Hon. Secretary.Malayan Students' Assn.,Wellington.
(See Page 10.—Editor.)