Saturday, June 16, 2007

MORE PICS & Views – Say NO to Greedy Billionaire Quek Leng Chan – Swapping 750 Acre UM Campus to Cheap Sepang Land; PM Abdullah: Prefers NO Change

Motto - Ilmu Punca Kemajuan; "Knowledge is the Key to Progress" Established 1949 First Public University

The carrots being dangled by this greedy billionaire Tan Sri Quek (ABOVE) would be very difficulty to resist and to be ignored by the cronies behind the corridors of powers who would have an influential say in the relocation. This is NOT the first time that heritage "landmarks” are being swapped for other places. They had done it to schools and why must a University be spared?. The present opposition is those who have a sentimental feeling and who had passed through this prestige portal, having graduated from there. The Prime minister is one of them and all he said was "if possible" no change. There are other strong political forces behind this idea and it was not an overnight decision. It was mooted quite long time back and sounded to the powers that be and was only made know recently after the leakage and the share prices of that company shot up by 87.3 %.

It will be delayed and usual the studies for the pros and cons (see Najib classical response) would take place. But with the lobbying help of the greedy politicians who can be made instant millionaires overnight, it is just a matter of time.

The University of Malaya (or Universiti Malaya in Malay; commonly abbreviated as UM) is the oldest university in Malaysia, and is situated on a 750 acre (300 ha) (3.0 km�) campus in southwest Kuala Lumpur, the capital city and located in the satellite city of Petaling Jaya. It is widely recognised as the top university in Malaysia, and many prominent Malaysians are alumni of UM.
The University of Malaya grew out of a tradition of service to society. Its predecessors, the King Edward VII College of Medicine established in 1905 and Raffles College in 1929, had been established to meet urgent demands, one in medicine and the other in education. When the two came together to form the University of Malaya in October 1949, this was so that they might perform together an even greater service — to help lay the foundations of a new nation by producing a generation of skilled and educated men. Hence, the University of Malaya was established on 8 October 1949 as a national institution to serve the higher education needs of the Federation of Malaya and Singapore. The first faculty to be established was the Engineering Faculty under the able leader ship of the late Prof Chin Fung Kee (the designer & consultant of the Penang bridge)

The growth of the University was very rapid during the first decade of its establishment and resulted in the setting up of two autonomous Divisions in 1959, one located in Singapore (later becoming the National University of Singapore) and the other in Kuala Lumpur (retaining the name University of Malaya).

In 1960, the government of the two territories indicated their desire to change the status of the Divisions into that of a national university. Legislation was passed in 1961 founding the University of Malaya on 1 January 1962. The university motto, "Ilmu Punca Kemajuan" (Knowledge is the Key to Success), reflects the philosophy of the University in its constant endeavour to seek knowledge in all fields to produce successful graduates and a successful nation. Universiti of Malaya is headed by a lady for the first time when Datuk Rafiah Salim RS profile took over as Vice-Chancellor on May 1, 2006.

The university was ranked 89th in the 2004, and dropped to 169, in the 2005, among the world's best universities table, according to The Times' Higher Education guide[1]. THES Ranking 2006 for World University brought University of Malaya to 192 position.

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June 16, 2007 15:29 PM
PM Says UM Should Stay Put At Present Location

KEPALA BATAS, June 16 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today the main campus of Universiti Malaya should be retained at its present location in Lembah Pantai in Kuala Lumpur and not make way for a proposed commercial development.

ABOVE: PM Abdullah responding to newsmen on the suggested relocation of UM

"The location is adequate for the university's operations. If possible, I want the campus to be retained there," he told reporters after launching the "Semarak Merdeka", one of the programmes held in conjunction with the country's 50th anniversary of independence celebrations this year. He said the university could open branch campuses elsewhere if necessary. It was reported yesterday that real estate company Guocoland (M) Berhad has offered to relocate the university to Sepang in order to develop its present site into a RM10 billion commercial and residential hub. That plan is reportedly objected to by the university's academic staff association, alumni, lecturers, administrators and undergraduates. Abdullah, himself a graduate of Universiti Malaya, said that personally he would not want the university to be relocated. He said the university was the country's first institution of higher learning and had produced many graduates who now served in the public and private sectors. "Universiti Malaya is the first institution of higher learning established in the country and has served the nation well," he said. Asked why there was an offer now to relocate the university, Abdullah said: "Perhaps they see the value and benefit of turning the area into a commercial zone."

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June 16, 2007 13:19 PM
Najib Seeks Explanation From Mustapa On UM Relocation

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will seek an explanation from Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed and Universiti Malaya administration on the plan by a property developer to acquire the site of the country's premier university for commercial development. The Deputy Prime Minister said he would ask for a report from Mustapa and the university's administration on the proposed relocation plan. "I cannot make any decision without talking to the minister concerned," he told reporters after witnessing the departure of trainees for the third and fourth series of the National Service (NS) programme at the Bukit Jalil Stadium ground here today. The government would get the feedback from the UM administration first before making a decision, Najib said when asked to comment on plans by Guocoland (M) Berhad, a company controlled by millionaire Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, to relocate UM to Sepang in order to develop the site into a commercial and residential hub worth RM10 billion. He said the matter is still being discussed at the UM administration level and had not been referred to the cabinet.

The company's proposal to relocate UM had met with objections and arouse the anger of various parties including former vice-chancellor Royal Prof Ungku Aziz. An enraged Ungku Aziz described as "crazy" and "ill-bred" the plan to acquire and develop the UM site. He said the developer had no sense of patriotism as he was prepared to offer a price for the priceless national heritage. The UM Board of Governors had also asked the university's administration to write to the Securities Commission to object to any move to shift the university. Its acting chairman Datuk Dr Zulkefli A. Hasan said the board was in the dark over the plan to relocate the university to Sepang. The relocation plan was also opposed by the university's academic staff union, UM Alumni Association, lecturers, administrators and students.
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June 14, 2007 20:30 PM
Alumni Objects To UM's Relocation

PETALING JAYA, June 14 (Bernama) -- The Universiti Malaya Alumni Association has objected to any plan to relocate the university to allow its present site to be redeveloped by a private company. Its president, Datuk Noordin Abdul Razak, said the university sat on a strategic location and was complemented by the presence of public transport services like buses and LRT which had greatly benefited the students. He was responding to a newspaper report on Tuesday that a company had submitted a bid to develop the site and to relocate the university to Sepang. The university management was surprised with the report and said that it would not let the university to be relocated

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Thursday June 14, 2007
We are not moving, stresses UM don

PETALING JAYA: Universiti Malaya (UM) has no plan to relocate to its campus,

describing the present location as one of its strengths. "UM would like to state categorically that it is not relocating from its current location nor is it in any negotiations with any parties to that effect," said the university's International and Corporate Relations Office director Associate Prof Dr Khoo Boo Teong in a statement yesterday. According to a news report on Tuesday, property developer GuocoLand (Malaysia) Bhd, controlled by Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, had made a bid for the UM grounds. The report said that if the bid was approved, the development would complement GuocoLand's planned RM1.2bil Damansara City development project and the university would be relocated to Sepang, where the company has a landbank of 4,860ha (present size of UM campus is 300 ha). A company source was quoted as saying that such a development was estimated to have a gross development value of RM10bil. Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed also said it was "absolutely not true" that the university was relocating. "UM's location is very historic. It is staying put," he said after chairing the ministry's post-Cabinet meeting yesterday. UM vice-chancellor Datuk Rafiah Salim (BELOW) expressed shock. "The university is a heritage. You can't just pluck it out and put it somewhere else. The university management will not allow it," she said fromLondon yesterday.

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Shock over township plan for UM campus
Jun 13, 07 1:45pm

Former academician Dr Syed Husin Ali has expressed shock over news that
Universiti Malaya (UM) will relocate its campus
from Lembah Pantai, Kuala
, to a large swath of undeveloped land in Sepang Selangor. "I was shocked and a great number of the UM Alumni have expressed consternation on hearing that there is a plan to relocate UM to Sepang," said Syed Husin in a statement today The move is reportedly part of a property developer's proposal to turn the 300ha campus into a commercial and residential township to complement its RM1.2 billion Damansara City project. According to Business Times yesterday, GuocoLand Bhd - a property developer controlled by billionaire banker Quek Leng Chan - has made a bid for the university grounds.

Citing sources, the newspaper said the company intends to develop a commercial and residential township on the area, which has an estimated gross development value of RM10 billion. If the proposal is approved, the university will be relocated to the developer's 4,860ha land bank in Sepang. Syed Husin said: "Apparently, the plan aims to kill two birds with one stone, one, to maximise profits from the development of the present university site and, two, the sale of these bungalows and villas to university staff, which it would otherwise face great difficulty to dispose
"Presumably, it hopes to sell these to the university staff, if it succeeds in relocating UM." He noted that there is "little or no concern" over the impact of the move. "The intended relocation will certainly (disrupt) the lives of thousands of academic and non-academic staff of the university and their families," said Syed Husin, a former lecturer at the university and now deputy president of the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

Inseparable identity

The campus was established in 1959, after the university was set up as anautonomous entity following its separation from the University of Malaya, Singapore. Although there were lobbies to site the campus near Johore Bahru and elsewhere, the location remained even after Universiti Malaya was officially founded in 1962. "The UM has developed into an institution with a strong historical and academic tradition. It has served higher education well and contributed considerably towards the process of nation building. A large number of its
graduates have been and are important political and administrative leaders of the country," said Syed Husin. "Universiti Malaya and Lembah Pantai are one, the same and inseparable. There should be no attempt to separate them, especially if entirely for commercial purposes that will enrich only a handful few who are already extremely rich." GuocoLand's share price gained 87.3 percent six days prior to yesterday to RM3.26. Registered in
Singapore, the property developer recently announced plans to invest US$5.4 billion in China.


Blogger MSAbdullah said...

Now that the PM and DPM have come out with positiv ststement of rejection for the Guocoland's brazen proposal, we can now sleep in peace.


10:06 AM  

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