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Leadership Programme Or Political Rally? Uni Students Caught Covid From Event And Netizens Are Fuming

Leadership Programme Or Political Rally? Uni Students Caught Covid From Event And Netizens Are Fuming

One of the UiTM programme facilitators says the event has no ties with politics; but netizens, including alumni, aren’t convinced.

Adeline Leong

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A student from UiTM Lendu in Alor Gajah has been tested positive for Covid-19 after attending a leadership programme at a resort believed to be organised by Barisan Nasional (BN) for the upcoming Melaka state election.

The Alor Gajah Health Office received a notification from the university’s clinic on Tuesday (9 November) at 2pm.

According to Melaka Health Department director Dr Rusdi Abd Rahman, eight more students had upper respiratory tract symptoms (URTI).

In a report by NST, the nine students attended the leadership programme that was held from 3 to 7 November.

The programme was attended by at least 45 other students from various UiTM campuses.

Syed Saddiq calls out old political ‘tactics’

Muar MP Syed Saddiq took to Twitter to condemn the old political campaigning practice.

“Hold a political event during the pandemic, make attendance compulsory [for students], the students get Covid. That’s enough of old politics. Look for new ideas to campaign. Forcing students to attend events is old political [tactic],” Syed Saddiq wrote.

In one of the screenshots he posted, a parent whose child attended the leadership programme wrote to say the students shouldn’t be blamed because they were forced to attend events like these.

However, Syed Saddiq’s tweet was rubbished by one of the programme facilitators.

Ainaa Fakhira (@ainaafakhira) said the leadership programme was not related to politics and was organised by an NGO and the university.

She also claimed students weren’t forced to attend the programme and encouraged Syed Saddiq to check with the attendees himself.

Ainaa went on to say the programme modules did not influence anyone to support BN. Instead, the attendees are taught about mature politics without siding any political parties.

She ended her tweet by requesting Syed Saddiq to remove his tweet.

Netizens aren’t convinced

Netizens, including UiTM alumni, find the whole clarification a big BS.

“Alaa on paper it’s not a political event but just slip in some bias towards one party,” a netizen wrote.

“Did UiTM ever force [students] to join the programme? Kahkahkah,” another person wrote sarcastically.

“I think you’re the one misleading. ‘Not a political programme’ but: 1. There were politicians present. 2. They are only from one side. If you can’t be truthful, correct not those who are,” the next netizen tweeted.

“Stop misleading the people.. I was once a student from UiTM, in my first semester in Diploma, we were told to follow so called ‘gotong-royong’ and have to wear a red shirt, instead it’s a meet & greet with the politician.. We are not stupid to know this all are politics agenda,” an alumni wrote.

“So young already good at spin. There’s a talent to become Dira [PRN candidate Khaidirah Abu Zahar],” a netizen wrote.

“There’s no need to give a long story. If you invite politicians from only ONE SIDE, it’s a political event. There’s no argument you can make that would make this statement wrong. You now have 3 options: 1. Agree 2. Disagree and admit you don’t know anything about politics 3. Delete,” another netizen tweeted.

“Why are the invited only people from UMNO? Why are some of the invited guests the candidates for the Melaka elections?” someone else wrote.

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