Candidates debate over Deputy President 1 Gombak seat

By Marissa Nazeera 

GOMBAK, 27 May 2022: As the polling day is approaching, the debate session is only left with two more rounds including one session specially for the candidates of Deputy President I of Gombak constituency.

Nur Athirah, a second year student from Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws is going against Fakhruddin Razak who is currently in his third year studies at AbdulHamid AbuSulayman Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences.

“I would define student union as a student organisation that would represent students on a higher level because of the autonomy that we have,” said Nur Athirah before she began her first round to set the common ground of defining the student union. 

Though Athirah is very petite in person, but, her dreams and passion to contribute to others through the student union is way bigger than anything in this world is. She believes a competent officer is important because he or she would know better what to bring and to fight for the students. 

She put forth five manifestos with detailed preparation like an army prepared with its armour as she reassures the audience who are also her possible voters that through her vast experience working under the Office of President of IIUM Student Union 21/22, she is able to achieve her manifesto. 

This can be seen when Athirah herself explained further on her plan to execute her fourth manifesto. As a woman she is, she is also aware and sympathises with women’s welfare. Hence, she had engaged with Libresse to provide sanitary pads for every female in IIUM Gombak campus. 

On her fifth manifesto on easier mobility in campus, she actually had attended a meeting with the Vehicle Management Unit of IIUM pertaining to her idea to provide a beam on campus. This act of hers was said to be the act of love and service for her Gombak constituents. 

Fakhruddin as the opponent is equally fierce to win the hearts of his possible voters too with only two manifestos. “I think it is important for leaders to show the way, and lead the way,” he said.

Though the relevancy of his manifesto was questioned by Athirah, yet, Fakhruddin was consistent and firm with his stance that students still need a centralised platform to voice out their concerns, complaints, or even anything. 

As for Fakhruddin, he is determined that a good union is the one that respectfully follows the administration in order to maintain the union as the students’.

His main approach is to always gain trust first, be it with the students or even the administration. Thus, he emphasises on how the physical interaction with the students can be the means to gain their trust towards the union. 

Unlike Fakhruddin who wishes to establish good connections by gaining the trust of others, Athirah on the other hand, is more realistic when she reaffirms that there is no guarantee in everything. But Athirah will keep on fighting every time they lose to achieve something as the fight would not end easily, at least for her. 

While they were asked about the weakness of the union, Fakhruddin wishes to not address the union and its weakness, but rather to suggest things to be improved. 

He stresses on how the upcoming tenure of IIUM Student Union 22/23 should do more physical programmes to engage more with the students. He said, “Physical interaction is both fitrah and responsibility.”

Athirah highlighted the lack of separation of power that leads to redundant tasks in the office. It is also equally important to note how the previous tenure was lacking in the spirit of a new era of student activism compared to the pre-COVID student activism years. 

Nonetheless, both agreed to respect students rights on the automatic voter registration and its heated objection that comes from students in IIUM. 

The election debate had taken place physically at Lecture Theatre 1, Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences (KENMS) and was live streamed at IIUM Student Union Election Commission YouTube channel.

The full debate can be watched here. Readers may also refer to here for further information.

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