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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 22. 14th September 1972

Lead Ping Pong Balls

Lead Ping Pong Balls


Every Malaysian student on this campus is aware of the sedition act which is presently in force in Malaysia, not withstanding the Internal Security Act and the prohibition of questioning special Malay rights even during Parliamentary debates. So it is understandable that the attitude of radical Malaysian students to Kiwi radicals is largely coloured by envy. But the Malaysian dissenters and radicals who have been arguing so vigourously their grievances in Salient recently, are demanding precisely those freedoms of speech and thought that local revolutionaries despise as irrelevant.

Malaysian students take note: Although we enjoy the so-called privileges of freedom of speech, thought, and protest, this does not mean that we(revelling in the freedoms of a capitalist bureaucracy), have no legitimate complaints in the matter of freedom. The machines of capitalist governments in the west have long ignored the voices of protest movements and of their citizens. So it is naive of Malaysian students at home or abroad to demand free speech and thought as a preliminary condition for political action in Malaysia. Indeed, in New Zealand these preliminaries no longer open the channels for action, and the exercise of these freedoms are meaningless exercises - (as evidenced by the utter futility of the anti-Vietnam and anti-French Test protest marches.) Malaysian radicals wake up! You verbalize so radically, but you talk only of fighting for bourgeois-democratic "freedoms". You have sought and found an escape in the murky climate of debate, but when democratic freedom comes to Malaysia, your children will learn less brutal yet very decisive experiences in political frustration.

Gary Griffiths.