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    disiarkan pada Sabtu, Januari 12, 2002

Rule by law as explained in the UTM model

5:28pm Fri Feb 22nd, 2002
From: Jeffrey Toh
Johor, Malaysiakini

I refer to the article, "Hall dispute-UTM's excuse 'lame': DAP leader", (Jan 27), and would like to express my opinion from the aspect of the rule of law.

The UTM cultural exhibition and performance 2002 was once again prohibited (since 1998) from being held in the campus.

In order to achieve the purpose of management and the principle of the rule of law, rules have to fulfill the following principles. Rules must be made to enable us to make decisions as we cannot decide according to our desires; rules have to open to public; rules cannot be changed frequently; decisions must strictly follow the rules that had been made earlier.

UTM authorities committed all four mistakes stated above. Firstly, the university authorities changed their decision three times in the last four days leading to the exhibition.

Secondly, the authorities did not reveal to all about the rule prohibiting the use of the Dewan Sultan Iskandar for non-academic purposes.

Thirdly, the authority did not explain the reason for the sole usage of the hall, i.e. for academic purposes. Besides, before and after the denial of use for the cultural exhibition there were events such as concerts and dinners, which are not academic, held in the hall.

The most important principle of the rule of law is, all power is based on the law; no one is above the law including the authorities. The actual situation in the university is such that the rules only apply to students, lecturers and staffs but not the authorities.

The university authorities only make use of the law to control students and to manage the university. In the other words, the rules are only a tool to university authorities.

We can conclude that the model of UTM authorities is the model of the rule by law which has been used in the feudal age when rulers had absolute powers.

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