By Farihah Halim
GOMBAK, 14 March 2023: The second Townhall of IIUM Student Union (IIUMSU) took place at Experimental Hall, IIUM Gombak, last Thursday (9 March), with the IIUMSU Office of Legal Affairs, led by Ainul Mardhiyyah binti Roslan.
With the theme of Constitutional Reform, the Town Hall, according to Ainul Mardhiyyah, was intended to present the proposed amendments to the current IIUMSU Constitution and to gather ideas, concerns, and recommendations from students for the reform of the constitution.
This second town hall initially focused on the proposed changes of several clauses and 22 new articles of the IIUMSU Constitutional. Article 22, which deals with political activism, that was introduced and proposed as a new section to be amended and discussed in the Central Student Parliamentary Sitting on 18 March 2023.
The session further invited attendees to raise any related questions and suggestions to be addressed directly.
A Student from AbdulHamid AbuSulayman Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (AHAS KIRKHS), Nadzmi Wajdi, asked the students about the benefits of making changes to the present constitution based on its compliance with the laws by the Ministry of Home Affairs to full compliance with the laws and Islamic principles.
“The proposed amendment defines ‘law’ as Malaysian law, including Parliamentary statutes enactment and by-laws. The benefits are strengthening what IIUMSU is doing in advocating the nationwide welfare of the students,” Ainul noted.
She further emphasised that Islamic principles are not an alien concept that is separate from the student union just because there is no ‘Islamic student union’.
Additionally, Khadijah Wahab also from AHAS KIRKHS asked how the Student Union guarantees credibility of officers can be determined at the end of tenure.
“Student Union would introduce human resource policies that would include the termination and resignation of the member. It requires a very detailed code of conduct to ensure the officer’s accountability fully. Because of that, the discussion was started at the beginning of the tenure-ship,” Ainul explained.
Muhammad Nasrul Mohamed Noor, a postgraduate student from Ahmad Ibrahim Kuliyyah of Laws (AIKOL), proposed an amendment article pertaining to the election, which is to add an officer representing persons with disabilities (PwDs) so that the voice of PwDs will be heard.
Further asked on what mechanisms will be taken by IIUMSU if the office bearer suddenly becomes disabled or is overseas by postgraduate student from AHAS KIRKHS, Faris Naqib, Ainul stressed that the structure is not final and will be put into consideration in the absence or hospitalization of the office bearer. From there, they will have a backup plan.
Faris also asked about the idea of article 18, clause two on prohibition. He also suggested the removal of the clause of article 17 that mentioned the secretary’s meeting minutes since he believes it was not needed to be put in the constitution. Furthermore, he also suggested removing the scheduled list of clubs and societies in the constitution so IIUMSU can be manageable.
The second town hall session was attended by some 80 students, an increase from the first session from 8.30 p.m. until 10.30 p.m., and ended with a photography session.
All the suggestions and feedback were in hansard and documented. The current and proposed amended document can be retrieved at http://bit.ly/IIUMSUCONSTITUTION***.