‘When You Fall Sick, Do You Want A Doctor Only From Your Own Race?’: UiTM Student Union Slammed

The UiTM student union’s campaign to wear black on May 16 to protest opening up UiTM to non-Bumiputera receives tremendous backlash from both Malays and non-Malays, who highlight the dire lack of cardiothoracic surgeons and long waits for heart surgery.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — The Universiti Teknologi MARA’s (UiTM) student union’s opposition to opening admissions to non-Bumiputera has backfired, increasing support instead to open up a specific postgraduate medical programme to all across race.

A statement from the UiTM Student Representative Council (MPP) – which urged students to wear black tomorrow in its #MahasiswaUiTMBantah campaign – was described by many on X (formerly Twitter) as “misleading”, due to MPP’s omission of the fact that it is only the cardiothoracic surgery postgraduate programme that is under consideration for “temporarily” opening admissions to non-Bumiputera.

MPP’s statement posted on X yesterday, which has received 1.3 million views, was heavily ratio-ed, with 693 quotes to 193 reposts at the time of writing.

Both Malays and non-Malays slammed the MPP, with some even comparing the student body to Zionists. 

“Racist idiots at UiTM, you’re all students so you need to be a little smart,” Amshar Aziz posted on X.

“Malaysia is currently experiencing a critical shortage of specialist doctors. UiTM is proposing opening up the cardiothoracic programme. What’s wrong? When you’re old and you fall sick, are you only going to be looking for a doctor from your own race? Be smart.” 

Another person pointed out that UiTM has a postgraduate programme for international students.

“When foreign students are welcomed; but Malaysian doctors applying for post-grad who will serve Malaysians are rejected.”

Lawyer-activist Azira Aziz said the country needs accredited cardiologists, and “opening UiTM to all races will show just how high the quality of education is at UiTM where students can compete with anyone”.

A graphic pointed out that heart disease is the number one cause of premature deaths in Malaysia, comprising 18.4 per cent of all confirmed deaths in the country in 2022.

“The lack of cardiothoracic specialist doctors is now at a worrying stage. This problem has affected the country’s health care system and quality of service to patients. Many have to wait six months to a year to get heart surgery. Worse, some even died while awaiting treatment,” said the graphic that condemned MPP’s “misleading” statement.

“Article 153 of the Federal Constitution has never been challenged.”

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