(Penang, Sunday): DAP MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po
Kuan should be commended for championing the cause of Nik Nor Ermiza Rozana
Mustaffa, 20, to the right of higher education at Universiti Islam Antarabangsa
(UIA) despite her physical disabilities.
I hope all Barisan Nasional MPs
will support Fong's call to the
Education Ministry to investigate the circumstances where Ermiza was forced to
reject the offer of a place at UIA to continue her higher studies
because of her physical disabilities and to take immediate action to
restore her rightful place at the UIA.
According to Utusan Malaysia
report last Friday, Ermiza, who stands at only 94 cm, and who was born with
other physical disabilities, was offered a place at the UIA but was forced to
reject the offer after the university authorities told her they could not assure
her that she could have the environment to study well as there are no facilities
or personnel in the UIA to assist
her with her disabilities.
This is a blot in the history of
UIA and the UIA authorities must be
ashamed of themselves for taking
undue advantage of their position to exercise
improper influence to force
Ermiza to "reject" the opportunity to pursue her higher studies.
Ermiza had obtained five
principals in last year's Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malasia (STPM) and was
offered by UIA earlier to read Syariah law but when she went to
register at the university on April 6, accompanied by her father, she was
told the university cannot guarantee her success as "no one can help her in
her physical condition" and that UIA does not have facilities for the
disabled. As a result, Ermiza, who
is from Besut, Terengganu, was "induced" to sign a letter rejecting
the UIA offer of a place.
Ermiza had subsequently said
that if given the chance to enter UIA again, she would grab it.
I call on the Education
Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad to personally intervene in the Ermiza case to
restore her place in UIA and to make a Ministerial statement in the Senate
tomorrow on a new education policy requiring all universities and schools to
fully recognize the human right to education of the disabled in Malaysia so that
the forced "rejection" of educational opportunities by Ermiza will
never happen again in the country.
If there is no Ministerial
statement in the Senate on the Ermiza case tomorrow or the UIA is not prepared
to relent and immediately admit Ermiza, DAP will launch a national campaign
headed by Fong Po Kuan to demand Ermiza's immediate readmission into the UIA.