Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 37, No 21. August 28, 1974
Dear Salient . .
Dear Salient . . .
In the last issue of 'Suara Siswa' I was amused to read that two out of four articles printed were criticisms of my friend B. Put. One made an indirect attack on him by saving "If the MSA has a radical president (say for example one with the convictions of R. Pui), then the entire policy of the Association will swing to the left."
What he has been saying as far as I know from my long time friendship with him since schooldays in Kuching, is that he is only extreme in the sense that he believes in democratic ideals. He himself has argued that if to hold such views means being a 'leftist' then it must be very trendy as all politicians here and elsewhere claim to uphold similar views! May God defend us from such people!
|1)||We are not certain how much we could achieve by this self sacrifice.|
|2)||Are we sure there Is no other way of achieving our aim without sacrificing ourselves.|
|3)||When one's action is strongly backed by the left-wing group, this is not independent nor wise, because Malaysian Government will immediately view it unfavourably even before one says anything, however reasonable it is."|
I shall not set out the more derogatory things Mr Lim said of my friend. I think the three things he has said is enough to destroy any credibility he has left with the Malaysian students. His first statement shows his inward looking approach to life as opposed to Robert's more humane approach. In the second he asks a question without attempting to answer it. I would suggest that no one in history has achieved anything without sacrificing something. Only one type of person has managed not to sacrifice anything to gain something, that is the opportunist. It is worrying that someone who is supposed to represent the interests of such a large group of people should appear to be an opportunist. I hope Mr Lim will criticise himself and change his approach.
As for an alternative way to achieve 'our aim' Robert has put forward reasonable ways such as petitioning the home government to bring to its notice the concern of Malaysians here about the dictatorial approach it takes in governing the country. He has also suggested petitioning the UN. Are these proposals so extreme that we have to take a lily livered approach? I ask Mr Lim to give me some examples of 'ways' of changing the home government apart from voting it out of power which he knows Is impossible to do.
In his third argument in defending his own lack of initiative he reasoned that he cannot back Robert because of his 'left-wing' support. I wonder what this means as I have been unable to find out in my conversations with him, that he has the support of the NZ Communist Party, Labour Party or the Young Nationals or even the October Club. That leaves the NZUSA. If we care to trace the history of this body, it has always stood up against injustice everywhere in the world. Ken Lim talks about his great achievements in organising social functions but has he ever supported wider causes than helping the handicapped? NZUSA in my opinion has been the only organisation that has so far sincerely looked after the interest of overseas students. Lim perhaps could learn from it.
Whatever he says some things are clear. He agrees that there is injustice at home. He agrees that something should be done about it. He has had to come out to condemn the Malaysian Government in the Khoo issue and also against the interference by the High Commission last year. He has committed himself this much and I do not think he can attempt to separate himself from his actions by declaring that he is against Robert. It is too late!
The conclusion to be drawn from 'Suara Siswa's' attacks seem to be based on a scare that Robert is going to run for next year's MSA Presidency. I urge you to do so Rob, MSA needs a strong leadership.
I wish to congratulate Robert Pui on his recent success in the elections. I have always admired Robert for his courage and integrity My best wishes to him when he takes up this position and for when he returns to a fascist regime in Malaysia which will treat him in the same way as it treated Khoo Ee Liam. Good luck Robert.
Cockies and Wonac again
A couple of points about two letters last week.
Kevin Wright seems to have missed my point entirely about the statistics. I argued that they were misleading — in reference to the two ending in 1971 he explains why they are misleading. That doesn't really help matters much. In relation to the farmers income graph I argued that the drop 74-75 was highly unpredictable, but seemed to be too extreme. Kevin's reply to this is to cite impressionistic evidence that prices are falling drastically. Agreed that they're down on the peak of the 72-73 season, but they're still far above those of the late sixties, which is where the graph would have them heading, given that output has increased. I entirely agree with Kevin's attack on PD's insane dribblings.
Debbie Jones' letter argues that pro-abortionists should not spend their time abusing people like Wonaac who at least get around to doing something. This is somewhat dangerous — my comments (not cracks) on Wonaac related to mistakes of organisation which Debbie admits in her letter. As my attitude to Wonaac at the Exec meeting showed, I am not rabidly trying to stop things getting done — I am merely concerned with their getting done reasonably effectively.
Further, no supposedly left-wing group should reject criticism purely on the grounds that it interferes with unity, which Debbie seems to be arguing here.
Long service pension
In recognition of the steadfast devotion and unwavering dedication In pursuit of unswerving student interests the establishment of a student politician long service pension scheme is shamefully overdue. How much longer can we expect the senior members of our present executive to bear the burden of enlightening the too easily misled student? Their expose of the real Middle East villain, and the revelation that international affairs in Portugal involves more than wine exporting, necessitated exhausting effort. The group resignation of a recently re-elected president, vice-president and NZUSA Liaison Officer is a grim reflection of this wearisome burden. A retirement fund is the answer.
|a)||Barbara Leishman — a most deserving case, has contributed six years "of active involvement in a wide variety of cultural clubs: (Barbara's re-election '73 manifesto) and presently aspires to a third year on executive.|
|b)||David Cunningham was dedicated to "an effort to reduce the runaway work load of the credit system" (David's re-election '73 manifesto for NZUSA Liaison Officer) as early as '73. David now wishes to keep his present position of SRC Co-ordinator and states if re-elected the limiting "of course work loads will need to be set".|
|c)||Lisa Sacksen, to date five years of involvement in student politics. Presently seeks a third year on the executive.|
Barbara, David and Lisa are each standing against two other contestants for these three positions. The charge that students are apathetic and no else stands for these positions is obviously untrue. One wonders why they cannot depart with the gratifying feeling that their duty has been done.
[This letter was held over from the last issue-Ed.]
Opposition to opposition to Rolleston
Opposition to the satellite town of Rolleston by Ron Johnston seems to be based on an Intellectual distaste for low income subdivisions more than anything, and government-owned sub-divisions in particular.
While I agree the ugly despoliation of natural hillsides for more and more suburban growth is environmentally unsound, what can I ask is the alternative when the population continues to grow and SAC will not lend on older homes. After trying to borrow on several coastal cottages I too have ended up in a clay patch at the beck of Porirua East.
And what is wrong with a "Porirua away from the sea" as Ron Johnston describes the prospective Rolleston? He considers low-income sub-divisions to be economically and socially deprived. Deprived of what — a library of the right books in one's lounge bookcase? There are few other suburbs in New Zealand where one can walk down the street at night and enjoy the tremendously endearing warmth of Maori and Island people singing along with all the family from babies up to grandparents poor or not, these people have a far richer culture than many at university can aspire to. Poverty, real or contrived breeds its own culture as Ron Johnston should know in his capacity as a geographer.
Has anyone who intellectually condemns Porirua East (for in fact Porirua itself is an area of old established homes and high-class private new sub-divisions) walked among the state houses and noticed how different they really are, in colour, style and materials. Some of the brick homes, in particular are of a quality much in demand in "higher-class' sub-divisions. Most residents have made a sincere attempt to cultivate their gardens, plant trees, shrubs, tidy lawns and build attratice fences. You will find it hard to match such a standard in rented private homes.
I might add, also that fewer Porirua people are poor in terms of wage packets. They just have bigger families and bigger generosity to other people than Mr Johnston's crowd can boast.
Malaysian storm over Vic.
The political forecast for this weekend is imminent Malaysian storms over Victoria. Forum seminar, masks, eggs and broken windows will ensure a red hot recipe to jolt Malaysian affairs into life again. These events promise another battle front for rightists, leftists and liberals to crossfire, hack, curse and sue each other. Even the most apathetic of the Malaysian students can't avoid raising their eyebrows in awe or grunt their approval.
Whatever the aftermath, the events of August 30 and 31 will be the greatest ever, of unprecedented scale and impetus in the history of Malaysian students in NZ. Our Kiwi friends who devote great efforts and time to organise these events could only be appreciated by our unreserved support and full attendance on these two days.
White the atmosphere is electric, MSA top executives remain timid as ever, probably burying their heads into the sand. So far, there isn't a word about their participation. Where the heck is our President Kenny Lim? He is supposed to be the spokesman for the 200 odd Malaysian students out of some 400 in Wellington. Could he (holy cow! it just came to my mind) be comrade John MacDonald the Second!! Who claims to represent the silent majority, and hence remains uncommitted to their affairs.
Never mind, we still got with us characters like [unclear: who] shriek and scream erratic and discordant songs of praise and other pro-government stuff in Salient. And also the two [unclear: clowns] who squirmed when they spoke at the former Malaysian Forum. It would be a blessing if these noisy blokes would make the scene again. They will certainly add variety and humour to the occasion.
A long way to [unclear: go] yet Byron
In one of your recent [unclear: letter] pages, the Union Manager, Mr Byron Buick-Constable mentioned that he was making provisions for the physically handicapped student. So far he has given them car-parks close to the Union Building, That's a great help, I'm sure. In his letter he Invited me to come to his office and discuss It. Well, after jamming a wheelchair in the library doors, I found it rather difficult getting away from there, through two set of doors, two flights of steps, down a steep grade, through more doors and down more steps, and along the corridor and through two more doors to his office, Hence until his doors ere widened and steps are flattened. It would be too much to compete In the obstacle race to see him.
Although It is clear SRC does not represent the student body, this group has taken to appointing Itself to the management of students personal money. Removing money from the students pockets by railing the studass fee amounts to no lets than taxation.
The $235,000 added to an already mismanaged $148,000 or thereabout is intolerable.
As someone specified in an election leaflet, about 70c of the studass fee goes towards club grants.
I estimate (perhaps unwisely) that Salient takes out a dollar or three, end building funds and maintenance compose most of the rest. (No doubt you will have the actual figures published).
Is the executive planning to raise the salaries it so generously pays Itself? Must be.
Perhaps the money will be spent on new buildings?
One quarter of a million is a large amount to be put in the hands of the relatively unknown (to most) and unstable (?) executive.
Sir, I suggest that this matter should be taken to the university population ( or at least those who care about their pockets — which should be everyone) by including it anually on the voting forms for the exec. This would probably increase the numbers voting dramatically if nothing else.
Also I suggest Salient makes a lot more of SRC if it is so powerful. The particular meeting where the decision discussed above was made was not well advertised.
Salient is getting thin.
Hard to get hold of
On numerous occasions I have attempted to contact in person one Dr Stephen Levine of the Political Science Department during normal working hours. Over the period of about three months I have popped in, to see if he was in the department, at least twice a week on varying days and times, but was only able to get hold of him once. Today (Aug 5) I asked the secretary as usual if he had replied to a note I had left him about two weeks ago and as usual she was only able to reiterate that he was never there and that he hadn't left a reply. She then told me to use her phone and ring him at home. I did manage to contact him at home as one might expect and I told him that I had tried to get hold of him for weeks (to justify my ringing him at home). His reply was: "Cut the excuses — you've got hold of me now. So what do you want!" I don't want to condemn this man, he may have been in a particularly stressful situation at the time. But what I do want to point out is that this sort of rudeness, discourtesy and almost complete disrespect for students is very common among a wide variety of the teaching staff at this university. My advice to those people who are knocked down in the corridors by some broad-shouldered staff-member as he attempts to walk right through you, or to those who are addressed as if they were naughty school-boys, is to demand an apology (and make it hurt!). Concerning the above mentioned Dr Levine again: the secretary of the Pols department tells me that they are continually annoyed over his absence. So my advice to students who are unable to see a staff member after repeatedly trying, is to ring him at home and inform him that he should be at university where he is paid to be located.
Nationwide University Super Scheme: or NUS for short
Proposals have been put forward for a superannuation scheme for student politicians This will be known as Nationwide University Superannuation or NUS for short.
This body will receive an income of $1.10 from each and every student In New Zealand, and will make grants to retired student politicians in the vicinity of $3,000 each. Other benefits to be offered include free overseas travel administered by the Superannuant's Travel Board (STB for short) and a New Zealand Superannuant's Annual Concert (abbreviated NZSAC).
Some difficulties are still to be overcome by negotiation. The most important of these Is the matter of tenure. At present the grants will be for one year only and this leads to financial insecurity and personality disorders. To combat this a special ingredient called Superannuants Triple Appeal with New Zest (STANZ) will be incorporated. This contains a longevity agent known as dimethyl bromide peroxide (DBP) which is distilled from the livers of ferrets and stoats.
This protect Is in the interests of humanity please support it.
I am hardly raised to reply to PD's latest rabilous ravings but one claim he makes deserves a reply. He claims I contradicted myself. This is not true. An examination of the facts will show in my original article I said "Many townies think that all cockies be they sheep beef, dairy or other type of farmer are well to do and get things pretty easy. Unfortunately this is the case with only a minority of farmers today" In reply to his letter I Hid "Firstly I would like to agree with him that many cockies have got it made pretty well end there is no question on whether they get things easy." What is contradictory about this? There are many farmers that ere pretty well off but there are still a minority group. I would also take this chance to ask PD if he Insists on writing this rubbish why does he not sign his name instead of hiding behind a pseudonym?
Kevin J. Wright
Malaysian high life
Enclosed is a news report of the impeccably corrupt manner in which the Chief Minister of Sabah conducts himself. I hope you will print it, as recently there appears to be some political awakening among Sabahans — and this brief news report shows how outrageously the Chief Minister is misusing the country's wealth.
Pissed Off Sebahan
"The Chief Minister of Sabah. Tun Datu Mustapha bin Datu Harun, is not a men who believes in doing things by halves. He is disdainful of public air transport — and boasts his own fleet of two executive jets to fly him around the world. The fleet is to be expanded with the purchase of a Boeing 707 which could fly non-stop between Sabah and London. A Hefner-type aircraft, it will feature two bedrooms, a sauna bath, an executive office — and seats for less then 40 people.
His recent — unpublicised — marriage to an Australian shopgirl, 21 year-old Helen Moore of Queensland, provided more excuses for generous splurges. The Tun has built her an S(A)1 million "modern palace" — an 11-bedroom, air conditioned house with indoor and out-door swimming pools, a sauna bath — and a chandelier in each room. The house is protected by en electrified fence costing $85,000 with electronic "eyes" at all strategic points.
But that Is not all. The Tun has bought up the venetian-blind factory where his father-in-law worked, and made him a director. And for another $80,000, he bought up a lawn-mower business where his brother-in-law was a worker and made him its manager.
Cafe closes too early
I wish to register my disapproval at the way Graeme Jordan has closed the cafe early. As a person who often has dinner there, I will be personally inconvenienced as will many others, I am sure. If Jordan can't think of a better way of making the catering pay why doesn't he resign and leave it to somebody else.
The study of woman
In Salient July 24 you claim that Victoria could be in 1975 the first university to offer an Integrated programme of woman studies. This is in fact incorrect. Waikato University has two women's studies courses offered for full-time students, one in the Department of Sociology and one in the Department of Psychology. In addition the university offered an extension course on women in society. These courses covered the history of women, end the women's movement, women as people, women in society and both looked at the contemporary role of women.
Both of the above courses are to be offered again next year.
Assaulted by security guard
Friday night August 3rd, three students friends of mine were serverely assaulted by an unqualified hireling of the National Security Service at the Rock concert held in the Student Union Hall. Nobody connected with the incident could ascertain a valid reason for the guard's actions, infact when asked why himself the only response he made was to kick the questioner down the stairs. So much for this gorilla's aspirations to diplomacy.
However, apart from my disagreement with the government for allowing such an unscrutinized security system, my primary purpose, is to point out the Student Association's mistake In adopting such a banal and unsubtle method of concert control.
Unsubtle, because according to the well tested psychological principal: to expect and make accomodation for a certain type of behaviour increases the likelihood of it's occurrence. Surely then, the emplacement of uniformed heavies as a remedy for violence illicits that very response.
Also, student policy as I know it is against such fascist enforcement principals as those represented by such methods. By hiring the NSS because of past problems at concerts we admit the inadequacy of our policy, and show society that we must revert to its methods of policing in such a situation. If we cannot handle petty internal problems without these measures does it not make rubbish of any contrary belief, we may have about external maintainance of law and order?
Yes it does; but I'm sure that future concerts will see this mistake rectified by the cultural affairs officer.
Licensing of apartment buildings
A recent correspondent in your paper commented that I had dodged a question he asked me at a mayoral candidates meeting by the Students ' Association. Indeed, he flattered me by suggesting I did so smoothly, but he is not right. I was interested in his question and undertook to have his problem solved.
I found that the Wellington City Council had not actively undertaken its responsibilities under section 317A of the Municipal Corporation Act, (a 1968 amendment) which requires all apartment buildings to be licensed. An apartment building is defined in the Act as any residential building containing more than two flats.
I am therefore grateful to your correspondent for his question, and advise that this position is now corrected. Council has now set the license fee payable, and inspections and licensing of apartment buildings has been instituted. This is being undertaken by the existing group of Building Inspectors who have been inspecting and licensing boarding houses. This group consists of a Senior Building Inspector and two Building Inspectors, and will shortly be augmented by two Building Inspectors from the Structural Branch who are nearing the end of the inspection of earthquake risk buildings.
Arrangements have also been made with the Chief City Health Inspector that Health Inspectors will undertake a complete survey of houses when carrying out their routine health inspection duties. When the establishment of the Health Branch has been strengthened a house to house survey will be instituted to complement the work of the Building Inspectors.
In the meantime, the Council will be pleased to receive advice of any property considered by tenants or neighbours to be below standard, be it an apartment house residential unit, of which there are over 3000 in Wellington, or a single unit dwelling.
I hope this Information is useful, and the actions now being taken will right the situation drawn to my attention by your correspondent.
Michael Fowler,Chairman, WCC Works Committee.
The MSA Committee has repeated time and again that it is an "independent body", one would wonder why such an "independent body" should climax its activities every August 31 by a "Merdeka Ball". I am sure we all want independence and yearn for the day. When the three races of our country are bound together infirm solidarity and mutual understanding, but are we truly independent when more than 70% of our economy is in the hands of foreign capitalists? Are we living in racial harmony when the present fascist government is playing the racist policy of dividing our people into hatred and mistrust? Are we enjoying democratic freedom when we are deprived of our basic human rights?
Year after year, the selected new MSA committee always advocates the commandments of looking after the welfare of Malaysian students. Now the NZUSA has organised a forum to discuss the critical fate of our civil liberties and democratic rights, it would be interesting to see if the committee members chose to justify their empty promises or really show their concern for us.
Recently the students back home have staged a demonstration against the Universities and Universities College Act which prevents students from voicing their opinions on national issues that confront our country today. This act is stretching its evil claws on us here in NZ too. Following the rampant Malaysian student movements let us all work hand in hand with our Kiwi friends who have shown their esteem spirit of internationalism to fight for democratic freedom against the unjust authority!