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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 23. 23rd September 1973


page 15


Escher-type image of people and stairs

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR should be given to one of the editors, left in the box outside the office, or posted to Box 1347, Wellington,

Revolution in Malaysia

Dear Sirs,

Malaysia is on the brink of revolution against the capitalist ruling class. Malaysian students are true revolutionists and are ready to return to Malaysia to overthrow a sick, greedy, corrupt, capitalist government that insults all Malaysian workers.

People like Wilson, Masing (MSA Sports officer), Prof Campbell, Chan are very quick to deny communist influence, why? Because they are afraid that it is true!

James Masing's article (Salient) is a typical piece of "sticking one's head in the sand" attitude. If he thinks the discontented are in the minority, then he is a fool. All the workers are getting ready for revolution and people like Masing etc, who try to support the crumbling capitalist-bureaucratic government and thus try to hide the coming revolution will be swept away under the new enlightened people's republic.

Long live the revolution.

Yours sincerely, Revolutionists


Dear Sirs,

In Salient — Number 22, September 12, the article — "ANZUS — a Pact with the Devil", stated that during the 1951 Waterfront Lockout; "....the press, refused to print anything critical . of the Government." That was not the case. The National Party Government of Holland acting "in council" — that is a meeting solely of cabinet ministers — passed a decree (which the government was able to do as a state of emergency (sic) had been declared) which censored the Press. It was illegal to publish articles either criticising the government's actions or sympathetic to the strikers. A penalty of imprisonment was imposed on anyone who printed or distributed notices advertising meetings of the strikers or any other action the watersiders projected — marches etc.

The same censorship exists today. This time not under the protection of government decree but by more 'subtle' means. For example police harassment of "Ferret" and "Itch" plus Mr Brian McClellard's attempts to stifle "Cock" with criminal libel charges.

Big Brother is watching you.

Subversive Malaysian High Commissioner

Dear Sirs,

I am surprised to hear in "Checkpoint" (Sept. 11) that Mr jack De Silva, the Malaysian High Commissioner in NZ has a large stock of commo literature in his "private library". From what I gather through some Malaysian students here, publications like the Works of Ho Chih Minh and General Giap are banned in Malaysia. Those who are found in possession with these subversive publications are committing a serious offence under the Malaysian Constitution and are liable to capital sentences. Furthermore, he openly admitted that he encourages Malaysian students to read this literature and attend communist lectures at the Russian and Chinese embassies. With these activities, be is surely subverting the Malaysian students in NZ with Communist propaganda. I am sure his actions are contrary to the interest of the Malaysian Government. If a cultural show can be regarded as "subversive" (according to his definition) shouldn't he be charged as a 'super' subversive element.

F. Thomson.


Dear Kind Sirs,

I learned with great interest that a referendum will be held on September 13 (called for by one individual student of this honourable institution of learning). Needless to say the results of the referendum would be of the greatest interests to the gentleman of Plunket Street whom I believe is one of the "big guns" of student politics.

There is an issue which to me is of the greatest importance. I have always wondered whether the students of this fine institution would mind my taking off my shoes in the library. Inspired by the example set by our "politician' friend, I am also considering calling forth a referendum on this sensitive (in more ways than one) issue. Please look out for further information on notice boards and if I play my cards right, in the Evening Post.

To Mr Plunket my sincerest gratitude for germinating the seed of idea in my considerably less fertile mind and to the editors of Salient many thanks for publishing this letter.

Yours truly, Wondering.

Is Human Life Overvalued?

Dear Sirs,

I am in favour of abortion because human life for far too long has been overvalued. Hardly anyone thinks twice about killing an animal but when that animal is man suddenly it's life is held in peculiar reverence. There is no logical reason why such a distinction should be made.

Yours sincerely, Abortion Advocate.


c/o T. Newnham

Editor Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd Queen Street Auckland 1

To the Editor,


I have just received from my publishers a copy of the reviews of my book "Prisoner". I feel that the first, by a current inmate at Wi Tako deserves comment.

He refers to the 'limitations' of the book. In fairness to him I feel I should make the following points:
(1)I wrote the book partly while at Wi Tako and finished it when I was released.
(2)I then had to hold on to it for 12 months while on probation so that I was out of the hands of the Justice Department.
(3)I had to get permission of all the people I wrote about to put their cases in my book; most wanted me to write the book but very few wanted to be, understandably, included.
(4)I had to make as sure as I could that nothing that was written would worsen the situation of the prisoners I left behind.
(5)I then had to find a publisher who would publish such a book.
(6)Publication from the moment of acceptance to release date can be anything from 15 to 24 months. Whitcombes by-passed many of the usual procedures and managed it in 13 months.
(7)Case histories, as such, were just not possible.
(8)I used verse to try to convey feelings I found impossible to convey in prose. Whether or not I succeeded I don't know.
(9)After my first month a Wi Tako I was not classed as a 'kid-fucker" by any of the inmates so the question of 'luck' did not arise. Kangaroo Courts were held while I was there and I found that any 'kid-fucker' who was victim of any assault invariably brought it upon himself.
(10)I did not and would not advocate the increase in the salaries of screws. I feel they are well overpaid as it is for what they 'do'. What I did advocate was the turning of the prisons into psychiatric centres and upgrading the salaries of psychiatrists, psychologists and psychiatric nurses who would run the institutions.

Finally I did warn about work parole. It seems heaven when you haven't got it, but after the first couple of months you'll find it the hardest time you'll spend in prison. The only way it seems to work is in the 'open hostel' system as in Auckland.

Regarding the "review" by Don Franks. It seems that his only concern is that I have offended dear old Mother Russia! And, by the way, who mentioned 'little boys'! Tut! Tut! Mr Franks; guilt complex? Or perhaps I'm 'dabbling' again in psychology!

John Justin


Malaysia and Hee Kiang

Dear Editors,

Many Malaysians, including me, do not agree with what Hee Kiang said in Salient two weeks ago in regards, to Malaysian problems and the special position of the Malays. But first of all, for the sake of those Malaysians and those Kiwis who do not know who Hee Kiang is, may I point out that he was the president of MSA in 1971. This shows how cowardly Hee Kiang is trying to practically conceal his full identity and yet tries to show that he is a Malaysian Chinese. This Hee Kiang is an extremely selfish person. He tries to defend the privileged position of the Malays and the wrongful attitudes of the Malaysian Government in perpetuating the political, social and economic problems in such a way that he has shown himself to be all out against the Malaysian Chinese, (in his article in Salient he said "the so-called Chinese or Indians). He is a Malaysian Chinese himself. I am sure the Malaysian High Commission officials will doubt Hee Kiang's sincereity in condemning the Malaysian Chinese without some personal motive. Perhaps, one can understand his attitudes better if one is informed that he comes from a family background which ardently supports the ruling party of the Malaysian Government — the Alliance Party. And this explains why he is one of the few privileged Malaysian Chinese to be awarded a scholarship to study in New Zealand.

Regrettably, much NZ money is wasted on educating a person who has learnt to be selfish only. I haven't spoken to Hee Kiang myself even though I have been here for about 6 years. But I've been told that he [unclear: contra-] [unclear: dtcls] himself a lot and always indulges in much verbal gamesmanship and the use of legal terms to impress others, like most law students.

Hee Kiang thinks that he has done his part to provide solutions to the Malaysian problem; in fact, he has created more confusion because his suggestions WERE framed in such a way that his personal interests would not be prejudiced — some high government or political posts are in store for him in his Malaysian paradise. This explains why he is in favour of the privileged positions of the Malays and is so scared of a revolution in Malaysia.

His talk about the Malaysian Constitution and the Malays privileged position sounds very superflouous and unrealistic. This very fact was a cause of the bloody May 13 riot in 1969 and many non-Malays do not favour such a guarantee for the Malays as they realise, but not Hee Kiang, the dangers and prejudices caused to them when the Malays are being spoonfed. After 16 years, of fruitless spoon feeding, Hee Kiang worships the constitution and the guarantee it gives to the Malays. Hee Kiang must be either mad or very self-centred in his reasoning. Surely, a law student will not hero worship a constitution which is 'defective'. Even a commerce student like myself knows this.

So what else can the non-Malay races hope in Hee Kiang. Already, his term of office as President of MSA in 1971, has done much to blacken the image of MSA as being an extension of the Malaysian High Commission. This was true and yet he has the bastardly courage to speak out on behalf of the Malaysian students again and to blacken the image of the Chinese, even though he is one himself. He is not the spokesman for the Malaysians. He speaks for his selfish interest only. Mr Editors, no Malaysian with the right frame of mind has respect for Hee Kiang and his nonsensical talks and suggestions, except for a timid souls who are inspired by this "opportunist charismatic leadership." Hee Kiang, is an opportunist, an opportunist of the highest degree and if an opinion poll can be organised, few Malaysians would vote to prove this fact.

All the talks of Hee Kiang are purposeless and airy fairy. If only he has the Malaysian interests at heart, he would have done something to rebuke A. Rimbaud's racist attacks on Asians (especially Malaysian students) on campus. Sensing that this racist attack does not effect him directly, he decides to keep quiet and concentrate his attention in writing about Malaysian problems (as if the racist attacks on Asians are not Malaysian problems) to project his good image in the eyes of the Malaysian High Commission officials and those Malaysian spies on campus.

Mr Editors, I am very sad because of the existence of Hee Kiang on campus. The sooner Michael Lim Hee Kiang leaves the campus the better, for he is wrong but will always deny it in his many letters yet to be published in Salient. His true worth is shown, and will be shown again in his ability to contradict himself and to trespass upon the weak. For all these reasons the longer he stays the more Malaysians will become "ill".

A True Malaysian Chinese

P.S. Perhaps Kiwis and Malaysians have to think about the timidity' of MSA again. MSA starting from this year is becoming a thorn to the flesh of the Malaysian High Commission. And MSA is no longer Hee Kiang and Hee Kiang can't become MSA.

Like a Child

Dear Sirs,

I doesn't take long for a big fool to behave in a big way, namely, our honourable Malaysia's chief representative, Mr Jack De Silva.

In our culture it is often said that whatever manner a child behaves in, it clearly reflects the total condition of his family. A child who loves his family must think three times before he moves a step.

Whom does Jack love? Or does the saying hold a grain of truth?

Malaysian M.

P.S. Sorry I can't sign. I fear the power of my signature.
page 16

Watch for Instigators


Professor Campbell cannot be more right when he said "that overseas and New Zealand students alike will be exposed, in our Universities to political views of all shades". I believe that every Malaysian in this university and other academic institutions throughout New Zealand appreciates the atmosphere of freedom as such. However, while breathing under the sanctuary of freedom let us not forget about the reality we as Malaysian are going to face. Let us not forget while having the privilege of being bombarded by "political views of all shades" that ideology minus reality is at best crippled and at its worst the root of dissension. Let us remember that it is Malaysia not New Zealand that will be our final home.

Subversive ideologies and political views are not quite tolerated in Malaysia at the moment, and the advocator of such is likely to suffer servere reprimand. Let us, therefore, think beyond the realm of ideology and the scope of our discontent into something more peaceful and less threatening, solution more practical and less idealistic. I appreciate, understand and do feel what it is like to be discontended, but surely revolution and subversion are not the only ways of getting rid of our discontent. Probably Jack De Silva (despite his faults) was right when he said that let us use the "ballot box" instead of the "gun barrel" in demanding our wants. Malaysia might not be as free as New Zealand but we still have the secret ballot.

It is all very well for non-Malaysians who live thousands of miles away to say "why don't you rise and revolt; overthrow the capitalist; kick the feudal lords etc" for they are not going to be there to suffer and endure the consequences while that happens. While we are killing and hacking at each other they would just sit and watch, saying things like; "You see, I was right!" or "I know that would happen" and so on. People like that are a clique of frustrated intellectuals who through their boredom turn to be instigators and armchair revolutionaries. They are worse than the worst dictator because ' they create trouble then watch while you suffer.

This letter is not a threat, nor is it a warning and not even a piece of advice, but just a reminder of the things that each and every one of us Malaysians already know.

Drawing of Batman and Robin

Yours sincerely

James Masing.

Free Speech

Dear Sirs,

These things are an abomination to right-thinking members of society who attempt to live their lives according to the conventions and conditions which they feel are all-important to the ordered continuation of the world as it stands, and has stood for many years, since well before most of you were born. As president of our league, I feel it la my duty to lodge with you our strongest disapproval of these things, which we can only construe as a serious affront to those members of the established order, who have long been instrumental in preserving certain moral standards, which are acceptable in far wider circles than this sort of thing, which can only be seen, I am afraid, as narrow-minded and bigotted, aimed at destroying the bastions of a society rich in cultural and moral ethical codes, which, we strongly contend, are not to be treated lightly by the kind of thing which these people seem to be continually throwing in the path of the properly ordered and structured society of which we are proud to be active and privileged members.

This kind of attitude is what has come about because of a break-down in our fine moral codes caused by similar acts of thoughtless depravity which have occured in past years as a result of like attitudes.

With this kind of thing going on, we, the guardians of our country's morals, cannot fee) safe, in our position, in the streets of our citites, indeed in our very beds at night.

The validity of the established order of things is evident in the great successes of the past. Can we afford to throw all This a way ? The aim of our group is to see that these types of things do not, under any circumstances, make inroads on our safe and secure system of living.

Order! This is the ultimately desirable face' in the life of any normal person, the sort of person who puts his right shoe on first, and who exercises full and proper care in all matters. The kind of thing to which I have referred, must not be permitted to run riot.

Thank you sin, for the right to expression of free speech.

I remain, Sirs, Yours,

R.S.V, Plate (Mrs)

MSA Criticises De Silva

Dear Sirs,

Wellington Malaysian Students Association strongly criticise the gratuitous action of the Malaysian High Commissioner in making informal complaints to the NZ Government about possible foreign backed communist subversion of Malaysian students in NZ universitites.

Such action merely manifests a blatant disregard for the Malaysian student and his fundamental prerogative of exercising free will in an environment which condones diverse political practices and ideologies.

We strongly urge the Malaysian High Commissioner to withdraw the complaints and to refrain from making further intimidations to Malaysian students in order to restore the good faith which they have had in this office.

Yours faithfully,

Steven Oh

President WMSA.

Menstrual Extraction

Dear Sirs,

How lucky it was for Peter Wilson that my column in "Socialist Action" provided him with a further justification, somewhat belated, of his vote against NZUSA sponsorship of the Lorraine Rothman tour. If, as he says in last week's letter, he had previously "little or no knowledge" of the way women's self-help operated in the US, then it must be assumed that his vote was based solely on his criticisms of the feminist movement's concern with problems associated with women's reproductive functions.

Although it is true that there are no "self-help" clinics in this country, the organisation of the Rothman tour is an indication of the interest there is in promoting them here. In attempting to evaluate the worth of such schemes and the many other ideas raised within the US feminist movement, feminists in this country could do no better than to read the publications of the Socialist Worker's Party. In particular, I recommend its newspaper, "The Militant" (which as Peter Wilson has pointed out, provides me with some excellent ideas) and the "International Socialist Review" (available in the Periodicals Department of the Library). Both can be bought at Resistance Bookshop, Willis Street.

Wilson misinterprets the feminist movement if he thinks it considers women's biological function to be oppressive in and of itself. On this point the movement has made it clear that what women are seeking is the decision-making control over that functioning, control which has been witheld from us in order to uphold the patriarchal family and the monogamous marriage institution. This in itself involves a criticism of the social relations prevailing under capitalism, in that the patriarchal family is basic to the maintenance of the system.

It is entirely consistent, and essential, for those who regard themselves as socialists to support the struggle of women for reforms which will release them from the burdens of unwanted pregnancy. The right to control one's own body, to end the imposition of motherhood by church and state laws, is an elementary democratic right which should be championed by socialists before, during and after a socialist revolution. Because women are currently fighting for this right, and being attacked by the most reactionary sections of society, it assumes even more importance for those interested in ending a social system based on exploitation and oppression.

As a socialist, I consider that the "self-help" trend will hinder the women's movement if it means detracting energies from the campaign to win control of our bodies from those who want to maintain women's oppression

On the other hand, a feminist need not be a socialist to realise that "opting out" and setting up alternative medical schemes takes the pressure off the government to provide cheap, quality birth control measures from a sympathetic medical service, which women are demanding as of right. Unless it is won for all women, that right becomes a privilege for a few, and there does nothing to improve the status of the female sex as a whole.

How Peter Wilson views the transition from capitalism to socialism it anybody's guess — he it still working on it, I believe. The latest signs on his road to revolutionary wisdom show that he is beginning to reject not only the current campaigns of the women's liberation movement, but the movement itself, as a "divisive element in the class struggle." It is already obvious that he places no importance on the role of women, organising against their oppression as a sex, in the process of social change.

It is in this respect that Wilson is like those male "revolutionaries" in the US whose attitudes towards women's issues prompted the beginning of the independent women's liberation movement there.

Kay Goodger.

Fascist Club

Dear Sirs,

Communist and Jewish propaganderists have made Fascism a disreputable political philosophy but if you have not been deceived, and are interested in forming a Fascist Club, there will be a meeting in the Old Kirk Building in K309 on September 27 at 6pm.

Drawing of a woman with an exposed breast

Yours sincerely,

E. Moss, A. Rimbaud, Pauline Collins, C. Duncan, S. King.

Malaysian Masses not ready for Revolution

Dear Sirs,

I am not convinced that Verity Jones or Realist has offered any solution to the two problems I raised with respect to Malaysia. The only solution that clearly came through in their letter is Revolution. But, may I ask, at the cost of how much suffering? Coming from the State of Sarawak where a revolution is at present being waged, I know what its like to live in fear and terror. I suppose you would be able to understand the atmosphere if you compare the situation at present being waged in Northern Ireland. A revolution in Malaysia at present simply can't succeed without the cost of many lives. The plain fact is, as Marxists or Maoists would tell you, the masses in Malaysia are simply not tuned in for revolution.

But I suppose Verity and Realist would say we must teach the masses to revolt. We must instil] into their minds revolutionary ideas. Well, if this is your stand, best of luck to you. We differ fundamentally in approach. I forsee a long battle between you and me when we return.

Hee Kiang

Right On Sisters?


When I see other activities of the feminists associated with equal pay and the elimination of discriminatory sexist practices from our society I am with them and join in that perhaps passe saying: Right On Sisters!

But the stance taken on that euphemistically phrased issue "A Woman's Right to Choose" — puzzles me in the light of the struggle for liberation outlined by Kate Millet in "Sexual Politics". Then, women were fighting for a right signaling their positions as autonomous individuals able to stand alone as citizens. It is ironic that the very group claiming links with the courageous past should now, in the name of freedom, become an instrument of oppression of the rights of another minority group -unable to speak for itself — the unborn.

The movement would probably go a long way toward a more representative view of women kind and thereby improve its public relations if it would concentrate on other pernicious obstacles to women's fight for freedom. For example: the greater provision of more challenging jobs for women, counter-advertising in the mass media to combat exploitation, and the education of women to a much wider view of their role in society.

Joanne Cunningham.

Blue Arrow Challenged

Dear Shits,

May I congratulate W. Brown on his outstanding effort (surely worthy of a degre[unclear: vbjhhn]). Send him on a scholarship to the University of Singapore fast, he deserves it. Secondly can you suggest any readily available poison that would speed the obnoxious Sandy King to the land of his fathers. Thirdly "Blue Arrow" is hereby challenged to ride fast work over seven furlongs at Te Rapa this summer. Then we will find out if the dumb[unclear: mifi] is worth wasting newsprint on. I guarantee that if he doesn't fall of his own accord in the first furlong, he will soon after.

If "Blue Arrow" wishes to shoot without a quiver, he can through you advise such.


Wha Taro Ot

I.D. supplied on request.

A True Picture

Dear Sirs,

Otago University Chinese Language Club's Fastern Cultural Concert revealed the Malaysian society at its worst — that of the rich exploiting the poor. That's the bad side of Malaysia.

MSA's Cultural Exhibition, on the other hand, showed nothing but the progressive side of Malaysia.

I would have thought that together they painted one true picture of my nation. Each standing alone would have been insufficient. So, what is all the fuss at campus? Both the Chinese Language Club and MSA have earned much criticism. MSSA, the running dog of Peter Wilson and the puppet of Singapore High Commision, escaped criticism by doing nothing cultural. Is this what the Malaysians and Kiwi want? The politics of "nothingness"?

Yours sincerely,

Middle-class Malaysian

Message From Above

Dear Sir,

Who in fuckin' HELL is this Hugh Buchanan and his PUKE some admirers.

Yours, again, in heaven,

Joseph Smith.

P.S. Do I qualify for that dirtiest letter prize?
page 17

MSSA Fiasco

Dear Sir,

At the AGM of the Malaysian-Singapore Students' Association held on September 15, something phenomenal happened which must be recorded.

A motion was moved to disolve the association. While the mover of this motion was speaking on it, he was interrupted by the chairman who said he had something important to tell the meeting The Chairman then proceeded to read a letter by the Secretary of the VUWSA Exec addressed to the mover of the motion to dissolve the allocation. The purport of the letter was that the mover of the motion is in the process of being "expelled" by the exec.

Now, sir, it bewilders me that such a letter should be read in the AGM. What was its purpose? In my opinion, it was a sheer act of intimidation of the mover of the motion was exercising his right to move a motion of dissolutton. Further, it was a manage to all members present at the AGM that if they vote for the dissolution motion, they would face expulsion by the exec. In my opinion, therefore, the reading of the intimidatory letter renders the voting on the dissolution motion null and void. The voting was too much tinged with fraud.

Further, sir, the letter was addressed by the secretary of the exec to the mover of the motion. As such it seems to me to be a strictly confidential communication between the secretary and the mover concerned. Why was it handed to somebody else? Why was the mover of the motion not given the original or even a copy of the letter? Who authorised the letter to be published to someone other than the individual concerned?

Bloody Balls Up.

The Silent Majority Stirs...

Dear Sir,

The time has come for one of the student proletariat to make his conservative miserable objections heard. Start with a bloody great knife into Cunningham (this week reported giving away thousands).

That got elected on utterances like: "I will just generally liaise," and keep the students in contact with the goings on at NZUSA. The only liaising of his that I recall at all was a very shitty four lines appended to a letter of similar complaint (different author) in a back issue of some time ago which mentioned certain acitivities going on at the time. All were a complete surprise to many readers, myself included.

I would very much like to be surprised again Cunningham, by full news, of agenda and discussions, and general guff from the annual NZUSA wank organised for each August vacation meeting. Gleanings from Critic and Canta have partly illuminated my darkness — but all from the south are revisionists, running dogs, imperialists or bureaucrats; Stephen Chan being all of them at once, so I want the correct (Maoist) interpretation from Salient and/or Cunningham as long as the varsity newspaper maintains some pretence of being the official organ of information. It is still commonly accepted that the co-editors are organs.

An NZUSA International Affairs Officer (even when a union won't have him as a secretary) gets 2500 good NZUSA dollars, he may get more; Cunningham might also liaise and tell us if it is time that fur 2500 we get an article and three photographs on the Portuguese atrocities in Angola and Mozambique. Nice work if you can get away with it, but you wouldn't unless you had the right friends. Well done Aleck I'm a Hutt Old Boy Shaw. Liaise on that one Cunningham

The subscription for the Student Association is forcibly extracted from us and we are not enrolled on the understanding that it is used to pay the building upkeep, newspaper, NZUSA levy, and subsidise (hardly even that) or pay for cultural and sporting activities around the place. Every time you so generously give out one cent for your particular worthy political cause of the moment you are in breach of the trust put in you and fellow executives members at the point of extraction.

Up Yours (if necessary)

Jonathan Livingston Owl.

On Being Sent Up

Dear Editor,

This is to inform students (and other interested persons) of a new scheme which is now in operation in the New Kirk Biology Building.

At a recent Academic Staff Meeting it was brought to the attention of the distinguished assemblage that there was a general shortage of animal speciments for dissection purposes. Hence a new scheme has been put into operation in an attempt to rectify the situation.

The scheme involves the use of the lifts in the New Kirk Building in the procurement of human bodies. It works like this, the prospective cadaver simply steps into one of the lifts (the certificate of fitness of at least two of these being out-of-date — one by over six months) and rides up and down until such time as the cable snaps (all lifts have been fitted with a special device, imported from Japan, so they slop on at least three different floors every time a single button is pressed). He is then swiftly gravitated earthwards to his death (this is relatively painless). There is an extra safeguard in case the speciment changes his mind after entering the lift — an alarm bell has never been connected.

Cadavers obtained in this way would suffer from a fair amount of impact bruising, and the mouth would be locked in a wide-open position due to instintive cries for help but they would be perfectly adequate for use in the first year laboratories.

Persons wishing to take part in the scheme (which is non-profit making and strictly for teaching purposes) are advised to enter a lift during busy hours when the cable has the highest probability of parting.

Yours Diurectically

Harry Stottle

(Reprinted from 'The Gazelle')

MSA - MSSA Referendum

Dear Sirs,

Please allow me to voice my utter disappointment over the high-handed and inefficient manner in which Mr Goh Leng Chua (who is he anyway?) went about attempting to hold a referendum on the MSA-MSSA issue.

It is however, heartening to note that our learned L.C. Goh has now decided to postpone the referendum, claiming it is due to circumstances beyond his control. What utter rubbish! I speak as a Malaysian, one that does not take sides with MSA or MSSA. Right from the beginning, the idea of the referendum has not been well responded to by the majority of Malaysians. It was only the group (presumably L.C. Goh's clique) that really seemed to be supporting it. Hence, I'll assume that the postponement of the 'referendum' (or 'opinion poll" as our learned L.C. Goh, managed to re-term it after checking through his Law books I suppose) is due primarily in the fact that not enough support was obtained from the Malaysians and not otherwise.

Further, would L.C. Goh please elaborate on who are the people taking advantage of our petty squabble. This is a very serious malicious remark and unless proved to be true, L.C. Goh must publicly withdraw this unjustified remark of his.

In conclusion, my request for all fellow Malaysians is "let us not be fooled or influenced by anyone in respect of which association (MSA or MSSA) we should join."

The decision to join MSA or MSSA is ours alone. It's an individual's choice. In addition, may I express my disgust over the group of "loyal MSA supporters' who approached me to join MSSA and help to dissolve it by joining the 'suicide squad'. As a Malaysian, I feel this form of 'dirty political tactic' is to be condemned and not to be responded to.

To MSSA leaders, may I wish them 'good luck' in their efforts to uphold the aims of their association.

A. Lim

Note for Cultural and Sports clubs

English Impasse

Dear Sir,

The protracted 'dialogue' between staff and students in the English Department remains at an ignominious impasse. Despite numerous meetings, representations, discussions and requests, the English Department remains firm in its committment to a 'canon' of English literature and the group of students seeking change becomes increasingly frustrated and upset. The real Cause of this unhappy state of affairs is, as Gordon Campbell pointed out in His Salient article of August 29, that "a basic conflict exists over what an English major is for. "It seems to me unfortunate that, while the department has proferred its views on this matter, no member of the student group has yet made a coherent case from a 'radical' perspective. Even Gordon Campbell's perspicacity seems limited to a statement of the problem, rather than an attempt to resolve it.

I am sure that both staff and students would agree that, in examining the purpose and function of an English major, we are necessarily required to investigate the purpose and function of literature, indeed of an, as a whole. And art's major function, surely, (if I may be permitted to over-simplify) is to give us some sort of 'awareness', an 'awareness' which has significance beyond the immediate present, an 'awareness' which, through a unique exploitation of imaginative and concrete, both reveals (?) the nature of the human Condition to us, and in a sense, frees us from the restrictions which that condition involves. To quote Hegel: "For in human Art we are not merely dealing with playthings, however useful or pleasant they may be, but with the liberation of the human spirit from the substance and forms of finite condition." Any study of art, then must surely be designed, at the very least, to make the student aware of the powers of art and the importance of artistic experience.

It follows that if one is committed to English literature as a means of arriving at that level of perception which art incites and requires, then one will structure the English major so that that goal may (hopefully) be realised. And it is the department's fear, justifiable in my opinion, that the goal will not be realised by pandering to student predilections for Bellow and Kesey. It is not a question of denying students the right to be interested in, or to value, a particular literary genre. It is rather a belief that the 'awareness' which the study of literature can yield will be atrophied by allowing a student (who claims to be an English major) the opportunity to narrow his vision to one or two genres, or one or two periods.

But I don't wish to whitewash the department, indeed, in order to palliate the guilt I feel at revealing these pro-establishment tendencies at so tender an age, I must express my complete agreement with the student group regards such serious anomalies as the language requirement, the retention of which is patently absurb. But I would suggest that, until the student group succeeds in undermining the nature or form of the department's commitment, their energies would be more usefully directed to remedying this sort of defect, rather than to attack the underlying creed.



Gordon Campbell replies: - I would have thought it was the Department, not the student body who have failed to make a "coherent case". Rather than "simply restate the problem" we have offered these constructive, workable suggestions.

(a)a 36 credit general major
(b)failing that, a two tier degree structure providing for both the general and specialist conceptions of an English major in conflict here
(b)(c) placing the language requirement on the same footing as other potentially useful supplements to an English degree.

So we have never simply "attacked" the Department. We recognise their commitment, have even articulated it for them — the point is whether it should over-ride our equally valid idea of the degree, especially when our view at least leaves room for the specialist student. And no one's knocking the "canon" — the debate is about whether its best served by galloping through the whole field, or by in depth study of particular related periods. Finally, the request for postwar writing is not "pandering" it was never sought as an alternative to the English canon — our claims is that it holds an important place, in that canon. Your pro-Department views don't bother me; its your inability to grasp the issues and present them fairly that gets me down.