Machiavelli and UTP

Quickie: I think I have an idea now what’s been making me feel so tired these past few days: campus politics. Lol.


I guess not.

The elections for the MPPUTP are over and the results are out, yet things have not truly ended yet.

Vote buying, conspiracies and underhanded tactics: as stories of these alleged misdeeds are beginning to spread about campus, UTP’s resident intellectual, Rausyanfikir, lashes out against what he perceives as “the unfair victory” of those now in power.

The original blog post is written in Malay, and can be found at [link]. What you are about to read is a condensed, translated version of some of his points and views on the political scenario in UTP.

An insightful, well-written article not to be missed!

Note: Only specific portions of the original blog post are translated below, with Rausyanfikir’s permission. These are the main points of his article, but if you’d like to know more, do read the original post, or leave either one of us a comment on our respective blogs.

I’ve pretty much expected which candidate will be the focus of the push to be voted into MPPUTP, undoubtedly the most senior, experienced (and pro-Rakan Masjid) among them, Haniff Humam.

The well-oiled political machinery working behind the scenes for him produced many buntings and banners for his campaign. Certainly these promotional materials excel at grabbing your full attention, but how well did they translate into confirmed votes?

As a senior, I personally have no problem with Haniff. In fact, I feel that with his level of experience, it is only fitting that he be elected to the High Committee of the MPPUTP. Again, however, his experience alone does not necessarily guarantee the transformation of MPPUTP into a truly excellent student body, does it?

The other candidates – all juniors, mere babes in the campus’s political arena – are mostly pro-Rakan Masjid candidates, such as Mu’id (#2), Umair (#6), and Ain (#4). Then there’s the sole non-Malay candidate, Jenani (#5).

Of course, Ashraf a.k.a. Acap (#3) isn’t a member of Rakan Masjid, but..

Wait a minute, does that mean Jenani is part of Rakan Masjid’s list of preferable candidates?

Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be. If you’d paid any attention to your own GTalk throughout the campaign period, you would’ve noticed your friends in Rakan Masjid placing Jenani’s campaign poster on their statuses, asking you to vote for her.

Of course they’d go all out to back Jenani! Note the similarity of their move with PAS’s strategy to enter an Indian candidate for the state seat of Tiram, Johor, way back during the general elections in 2008.

Then again, this is a good result, so congratulations to Jenani for the courage to contest, and for winning a seat!

Again, personally speaking, I have no problem with the winning candidates. My problem is with the WAY these people have won the right to sit in the highest positions in campus.

Why in the world did Rakan Masjid shove Acap #3 aside?

Two possible theories:

Firstly, Acap was once actively involved with the Persatuan Belia Islam Nasional (PEMBINA) Perak and Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA).

His involvement in these two groups signifies Acap’s exposure to a different ideology and philosophical perception of governance that runs contrary to Rakan Masjid’s ideals.

In comparison, Jenani would be less of a thorn in their side; she is only one person, and non-Malay to boot; definitely, she has no real bargaining power as part of the High Committee of MPPUTP.

Thus, I am of the opinion that the Rakan Masjid saw having Jenani win one of the top five posts would be safer than allowing Acap to win.

With Acap’s charisma and impressive leadership skills, he would constitute a very real threat to the status quo of Rakan Masjid’s influence in MPPUTP had he been allowed to win.

Secondly, Acap would have been a real pain in the arse for MPPUTP if he were to be part of the leadership. His critical perceptions and visionary style of thinking would definitely cause obstructions in any decision-making process later on for MPPUTP.

Simply put, Acap isn’t a yes man who blindly nods his approval at everything thrown his way.

However, the results have already been declared and it is all too clear that Acap has lost. He has accepted his defeat honorably, yet his supporters (especially those of his batch) feel perplexed as to Acap’s loss.

At the very least, they had expected him to win a fifth/last placing, thus guaranteeing his rise to the top five of the MPPUTP.

Even so, as one of the most senior students in UTP now, I see this situation as a crushing loss. Acap’s defeat means we have lost a leader of great caliber, a dynamic personality and substantial experience – and all this on top of not being pro-Rakan Masjid!

I firmly believe that had Acap won a seat in the top five of MPPUTP, he would have been the lynch pin of pressuring and persuading our rights as students to the management, all because of his experience and capabilities.

On a positive note, this defeat serves as a real wakeup call for Acap and his supporters.

I hope that, in the coming election, Acap will contest once more with a vastly improved campaign team in opposing the choking influence of Rakan Masjid in the campus election process.

This effort must be focused on the new Foundation and first-year students, especially since most among them will be experiencing campus politics for the first time.

Perhaps there will be those among Rakan Masjid who will label me “an enemy” for exposing these negative elements. My advice to them: to accept what I have said here.

What I have written here will be a bitter antidote for Rakan Masjid, but it is necessary so that they will improve their image and methods to enhance Islamic da’wah in a more effective manner in UTP.

By merely focusing on the quantitative, by buying the votes of the new Foundation and first-year students – most of whom know NEXT TO NOTHING about the current status of campus politics in UTP – Rakan Masjid chooses to ignore making efforts to influence the quality of support from the majority of seniors in UTP,  who have become familiarized to the “normal” campus election fiasco every year.

* * * * *

I leave you with a comment by a Foundation student, posted on the original article at [link]:

ooo mcm tu ker..?
patut la sy pelik mcm mane blh ade announcement kat lecture hall aritu..
they ask us to vote num 1,2,4,5,6

do not vote num 3..

jht sgt ke num 3 tu smpai diorg x bg vote..
huh.. sungguh x phm.

now i get it..i totally understand wat is going on..hope my other foundation frens realize this also.

-budak foundation 1st sem-

So what did you think of the elections this year?

P.S. Will be returning to regular blogging topics soon. Have been waaay too focused on campus politics of late for my own good.


About Jared

I am all the awesomesauce you could ever want in a handsome, neat package, and you know it.
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5 Responses to Machiavelli and UTP

  1. leslielinda says:


  2. dehaq says:

    as expected…… haih.

  3. mich says:

    I have no idea what is going on with campus politics. Do we have to care?

  4. Assalamualaikum WBT/Hi!

    Please kindly visit UTPress and drop any suggestion for the improvement of SRCUTP. We believe that the idea from you guys will uplift the reputation of SRCUTP 2009/10.

    Best regards,
    High Committee of SRCUTP 2009/10

  5. joe says:

    ahh… The Prince. sad 2 noe that the process is so machiavellian. but at least on the bright side, all it takes r the simple tricks of machiavelli. has not progressed 2 the more deep ones yet. hehe

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