IRKHSSS Presidential Debate: Key takeaways

By Ariani Mohd Nor

GOMBAK, 24 December 2020: As the second Islamic Revealed Knowledge Students’ Society (IRKHSSS) election comes closer, the Presidential Seat candidates fight to prove their credibility in tonight’s Presidential Debate.

Hosted in IIUM TV’s official YouTube channel, the four candidates Akif Anhar, Fakhruddin Razak, Dayini Shaik, and Anas Hayyan talk about their missions, visions and their core strengths to win votes for the upcoming election.

Here are some key takeaways from the elections, based on their manifestos:

Integration in the Kulliyyah

All four candidates had strong manifestos for the integration between IRKHS students in the Kulliyyah. However, each of them has very different approach.

Anas Hayyan, who sees himself as former Secretary of the society, stressed that the Sejahtera plans initiated by the university should also be implemented in the Kulliyyah.

Sejahtera is the university’s initiative to ensure holistic wellbeing of the students, as propagated by the Rector of IIUM, Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak.

Fakhruddin and Dayini seemed to have similar insights about bridging the gap between the society council members and students as they observed that it was ‘too distant.’

“We want IRKHSSS and the students to be like siblings, not cousins,” Dayini said in the debate. 

She also added that information from the council members towards the students should be transparent and concise, with zero contradictions.

Akif Anhar brought a more interesting approach to the concept of integration – prioritising first year students, as he quotes, “first year students need to be exposed to good first impressions, as they are treated like leftovers especially during pre-registration period.”

Akif also pressed on bringing back the spirit of IRKHS through community engagements and elevating societies under IRKHSSS to elevate each other to raise issues.

However, the latter proposal was shot down by Anas Hayyan, who claimed that the Student Societies have bi-weekly meetings with the mainboards.

Pandemic as a driving force

The pandemic has definitely given some candidates leverage in presenting their arguments. 

Akif Anhar started strong with explaining his case about students’ frustrations during the pandemic. He also addressed the system of manual registration that was introduced by the Kulliyyah early this semester, and how it could be continued throughout the upcoming semesters.

On the other hand, Anas Hayyan’s case for Remote Teaching and Learning (RTL) was pretty solid. Inspired by IIUM Student Union’s laptop initiative for B40 students early this year, he said he would like to imply the same mechanism for underprivileged students having difficulties with online learning for his tenure.

It is also part of his welfare plan in his manifesto.

“I would like to set up a fundraising programme for those who do not have the facilities to join online classes and the funds will go into providing them laptops,” Anas mentioned.

“Welfare during these times is more than just dry food and biscuits.”

Dayini’s plan for the pandemic task force is to establish an online learning support system. When asked by the audience about how the support system will differ from the existing IIUM Psychosocial Support Team, Dayini said the manifested support system will work together with the existing support team.

Career programmes

Three candidates, Fakhruddin, Dayini and Anas, all had the same initiatives with wanting to establish career planning programmes that could enhance students’ employability skills and marketability in the job market.

Dayini suggested a workshop that could help with students from all majors to join in to elevate their job employability skills after they graduate; while Fakhruddin manifested inviting IIUM alumni into giving a talk to graduating students on their experience and career fields.

The debate was attended by 510 viewers in total, as per IIUM TV’s final count.

Hosted by Iylia Marsya Iskandar, the debate was welcomed with live chats of supporters of the candidates and was strictly moderated by the IRKHSSS Electoral Committee.

The elections will be held on 24 December from 9a.m to 5p.m. Updates will be posted from time to time through IRKHSSS and IIUMToday social media accounts.

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