By Puteri Balkish and Syakir Nizam
GOMBAK, 8 April 2017 – A viral message went around regarding a demonstration that was to be held at the IIUM main gate at 8 p.m. on Thursday (6 April), prior to the full implementation of the Automatic Lane Barrier (ALB) effective from 1 April 2017. Nonetheless, the demonstration was a ‘no show’ and was best believed to be a means of provocation.
However, the spread had caused tremendous tension among the IIUM community as many were concerned with safety issues regardless of the tremendous support to oppose the implementation.
Earlier, a dialogue session with the IIUM authorities on the ALB Implementation was carried out in the evening with the IIUM Rector and the Office of Security Management (OSeM) to discuss and debate on this issue that had been the words of mouth and concerns raised by many for months now.
We encountered a member of staff at the main gate while the OSeM guards were conducting their traffic control. He raised his concerns regarding the ALB implementation and mentioned that the system was slightly flawed as the period of implementation was still new.
In spite of that, he urged the IIUM community to let OSeM have some benefits of the doubt, and instead of pointing out on the issues that are wrongly done, IIUM students should actually attempt to collaborate and negotiate with them in a more courteous manner, and not attacking them at every opportunity they get.
Pertaining to some concerns raised during the dialogue session, the staff member highlighted the part where a student had urged the security guards to actually smile when they are on duty at the IIUM gates.
“The ones who think they are entitled should be the ones to initiate a small gesture by smiling or having a small talk with them as we might just make the day for them and ourselves when we do so,” he said as he referred to the ‘Budi Bahasa Budaya Kita’ notion.
“IIUM students should be more empathetic towards OSeM security guards as they do not even earn much and work on long shifts. Most of them live far away and it would be hard to them to keep a smile on their faces throughout the day in the heat and exhaustion,” he added.
One of the security guards mentioned that the provocation was done by an IIUM Alumni who was recognised through a post on IIUM Online, and this offence may be charged under the Sedition Act 1948.
Prior to this situation, OSeM has future plans to establish a cybercrime unit to tackle issues pertaining to misuse of online platforms involving the university. ***