Derecognition of CSMU: MIC members and supporters should take the suspension of S. Sothinathan as a wake up call

Media Statement
Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): MIC President should not have asked S.Sothinathan to accept the suspension without putting in any appeal as he was the one who first expressed anger and dissatisfaction over the derecognition of Crimea State Medical University (CSMU) in Ukraine.

It’s also morally wrong for him to warn all MIC members and leaders not to express support for Sothinathan.

Samy Vellu’s actions have given an impression to the Indian community in this country that he was not sincere and serious about championing the rights of the students and parents who were badly affected by the sudden derecognition. Or he simply has no guts to defend his earlier stand and viewpoints.

For those who have read the Hansard or have watched the video clips provided by the DAP official website at and would know that what S.Sothinathan has said in the Parliament on Wednesday was not very different from what Samy Vellu has said in his press conference on Monday.

In fact, S.Sothinathan did not even criticise the government on the matter. He was merely trying to say that his party do not agree with the hasty decision of the MMC, and he wanted further clarification on the derecognition of CSMU.

It’s therefore very wrong for Datuk Mohd Nazri to claim that Sothinathan has broken the rank as a government leader. It’s also wrong for the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to say that it was breach of party discipline.

The suspension demonstrates that “telling the truth” has backfired on Sothinathan. It would be very difficult for any other minister or deputy minister to heed the call made by the PM by saying anything truthful within or outside the Malaysian Parliament.

The suspension also reflects the predicament face by the MIC as a component party. It simply means that whatever disagreement or unhappiness the party may have equals to nothing or not be taken seriously by UMNO (U must not object) and other component parties like MCA, Gerakan and SUPP.

The fact that close to 90% of the Malaysian Indian voters have voted for Barisan Nasional Government in the 2004 general elections did not mean a thing for the BN Government. I hope MIC members and supporters would take the suspension of Sothinathan, who’s also the Secretary General of MIC, as a wake up call.

Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang has found out that CSMU happens to be a reputable institution. In fact, it’s the second highest ranking medical university in Ukraine, a country known for rocket science and nuclear technology. Many of the 1,100 Malaysian students studying there right now are high achievers.

The concern of quality and the so-called student – lecturers ratio (1:8 at CSMU, lower that the international standard of 1:4) quoted by MMC was just an excuse as none of the local medical faculties in the Malaysia could match the so-called international standard.

And to claim that quality of the local universities were higher than Ukraine without any substantiation was not acceptable by any of the students and parents affected by the sudden derecognition.

Only one Indian student was allowed to study in the medical faculty of Universiti Malaya last year is a well-known fact. This may explain why there are now about 500 Malaysian Indian students studying at CSMU in Ukraine.

We hope the derecognition of CSMU and non-recognition of other Ukrainian medical universities were not done to deny the Indian community from producing more medical doctors, as claimed by MIC President and Minister of Works, Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu.



* Liu Tian Khiew, DAP International Secretary and NGO bureau chief