Sometimes we continue to ponder as to why Malaysian local students despite being endowed with such vast knowledge, both physical and human, are still lagging so far behind compared to the others. In the past, they were at the forefront of knowledge and charted progress for the whole of society. They were responsible for the struggle to help poor people that later brought various reformation and development in this nation.
This question of student progress or student backwardness can of course be approached from many angles. Perhaps for the sake of discussion, we may examine how consciousness is imparted and spread amongst them these days which may indicate how the intellect is nurtured and further developed.
The history of the student movement in Malaysia actually was initiated since pre independence era. During that time a couple of nationalist youth movements had emerged such as Kesatuan Melayu Muda (KMM) and Kesatuan Melayu Singapura (KMS).
Later, the movement continued and experienced a lot of challenges which eventually led the movement to maturity. Also, the movement had achieved his brightness era on 1974 after successfully mobilizing people for joining street demonstration at Merdeka Square to fight for marginalized people. The occasion which was led by Anwar Ibrahim still recognized as Demonstrasi Baling.
As a result, the government has tightened the University and University Colleagues Act (UUCA) and seizes students firmly from expressing their opinion. The action was effecting the student movement and finally they unable to survive and struggle to eradicate hardcore poverty among society.
Although, a few days before, the parliament has proceed the UUCA amendment which brought certain reformation to the act but there are still not enough to revive the golden age of the student movement. Students are still not allowed to join any political parties either as members or leaders. This outrage of student rights will freeze their paradigm and restrict them from thinking intellectually. From that the government should review the amendment and repeal all the sanctions and draconian section in order to develop progressive and intellectual students.