Yesterday (Thursday, 11th November), it was reported that a student from the UiTM campus in Lendu, Melaka, tested positive for Covid-19 after attending a three-day and two-night leadership programme.
According to Awani, the student contracted the virus after returning from a leadership programme which was allegedly organised by a non-governmental organisation (NGOs), and also a political party at a resort in Alor Gajah.
As a result, it was revealed that several student residential colleges at the Universiti Teknologi Mara campus in Melaka had to be closed. Not only that, Melaka Health Department director Dr Rusdi Abd Rahman noted that following the case, eight more students were detected experiencing upper respiratory tract symptoms (URTI).
The commotion surrounding the recent news also prompted Syed Saddiq to issue his response. “Conducting a political event during a pandemic, mandatory attendance, and one of the students ended up testing positive. Enough with old political views. Find some fresh ideas to campaign. Forcing students to attend the event is one of the examples of old political views,” he wrote on Twitter.
Buat event politik waktu pandemik, wajibkan kehadiran, pelajar dapat Covid.
Sudah-sudahlah dengan politik lama. Cari idea baru untuk berkempen. Paksa pelajar turun event ni politik lama. pic.twitter.com/uTzEKcA26B
— Syed Saddiq (@SyedSaddiq) November 11, 2021
Not long after Syed Saddiq posted on his Twitter, a netizen, claiming to be a facilitator for the programme, came forward to clear the air on the allegations left by the former Youth and Sports Minister. As clarified by user @AinaaFakhira, the programme was not organised by a political party, instead the event was held by UiTM itself in collaboration with the NGOs.
In response to the young politician’s previous claim in regards to the students’ mandatory attendance, Ainaa sternly clarified, “The students were not forced to join the programme at all. Feel free to ask the participants of the programme.”
Ainaa also explained that the program was not at all in favour of any party. “For your information, YB, the participants were already exposed to mature political knowledge, and they are not taking sides with any parties. You can ask for feedback from the participants who attended the event.”
UiTM has since become a trending topic on Twitter after the news broke out, and it seems like most netizens aren’t buying Ainaa’s lengthy clarification. Read some of their reactions here:
Sebagai alumni UiTM, this is totally bullshit.
And you know the facilitators semua macam………. https://t.co/IoVVvspT7p
— KEEM (@keemmazni) November 12, 2021
I’m UITM SA alumni. Masa 2013 GE 13 we were forces to turun padang sebab Najib Razak was coming to campaign (read:brainwash students). But me being a rebel I turned off all lights and stayed in the room all night. Still got the free KFC provided tho sbb banyak extra 😄 https://t.co/LXS8MlhPb9
— 🇲🇾 جوجيلا (@ZilaLaa) November 12, 2021
Sudahlah. Aku ex-UiTM, macamlah tak tahu students selalu je kena paksa pegi program politik. Kalau tak nak pergi kena ugut macam-macam. https://t.co/qzMe7nsZId
— A Madzlan 🏴 (@amadzlanx) November 11, 2021
In case you’re wondering, the chairman of the political party in question has also denied all the circulating claims saying that the programme was linked to politics. Read what he said here.