The incident – An action statement
On Saturday 17thDecember 2011 after handing over a memorandum to SUHAKAM demanding for academic freedom and the abolishment of the draconian Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) 1971, the group of student activists who called themselves the Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) gathered at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) where UMNO headquarters is located after handing over the same memorandum to the Deputy Higher Education Minister Saifuddin Abdullah and in such a charged atmosphere Adam Adli Abdul Halim a 22-year old student from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) in Tanjung Malim lowered the flag bearing the image of the prime minster Najib Razak and replaced it with the “Academic Freedom” flag.
They are against the government’s decision to amend the UUCA which they say is just similar rhetoric to the Political Transformation Program that Najib have made; no real change at all and could be more restrictive like the Assembly Bill. The whole incident lasted no longer than five minutes and Najib’s flag was hoisted back up as soon as the students had finished the gesture of protest.
SMM clarified that it was not Adam Adli alone who lowered and swapped the flag but the whole four hundred of them. Adam Adli insisted that the flag bearing Najib’s image was all the time in his hand and he never let it fall to the ground out of respect. Adli Adam was making a strong, valid, bold and long delayed statement on how hopeless Najib is and the pathetic status of our university students that have been neglected and has been relegated to just the extension of the Upper six classes in secondary schools instead of institutions of higher learning.
The repercussions; criticisms and threats
Adam Adli has drawn a lot of criticism and media attention but stands by his action. The first to react to his now widely known action statement was a pro-government student group led by the Malaysian Student Leaders Alumni aspiration Association (Persatuan Pemimpin Alumni Mahasiswa Aspirasi Malaysia -Aspirasi) who denounced the SMM actions and produced a counter memorandum which they submitted to Saifuddin’s senior private secretary Mohd Nazri Noh, Aspirasi demanded that Saifuddin be fully responsible for the Dec 17 flag swapping incident which “shamed the dignity of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak” and also called for Saifuddin’s resignation if their demands submitted to his office are not met.
The deputy minister has been very tolerant to the SMM’s demands and very liberal in his personal views pertaining to it but not representing the view of the government. However being just a deputy he can say whatever his view may be, but the authority is still in the hands of the Higher Education Minister, the cabinet and the ultimate power is still with Najib hand who SMM and many of us know is a pathological liar and cannot be depended on for any kind of transformation that he has promised each time with a sly smile on his face for Malaysia. In short Najib has lost his integrity.
The counter demonstration to SMM by Aspirasi held outside the Higher Education Ministry building in Putrajaya was also supported by a group of UMNO supporters from Tanjong Malim demonstrating in the UPSI campus on a few days later but it turned to be just a noisy crowd with not as much participation by the UPSI students as had been hoped by the organizer. Instead there were other gatherings being held in support of Adam Adli who was then has turned to a new Malaysian Poster Boy!
Then a group of men then produced the infamous video in defending Najib shouting vulgarities, threatening to spit on Adam Adli and to slap him for being “kurang ajar”. This group of actors who must have been paid were more likely members of PERKASA the infamous racist Malay group who support and encourage the corruption and wrong doings by UMNO. But if they were just doing it for money, they could get it from Najib by asking Najib to offer to be slapped on his face buy anyone who is willing to pay RM1. Both Najib and the group could be millionaires in no time!
The UMNO news media continue the spin saying that Adam Adli stepped on Najib’s image despite video evidence that he did not. Many of Adam Adli’s supported regretted that Adam Adli had not done so!
The repercussions; supports
Adam Adli then has his own growing numbers of supporters and several groups have declared their support for him including PKR and PAS. But the most inspiring support has been from his sick father who has bought for him a secondhand car for Adam Adli to use to continue his struggle! His father Abdul Halim is an ex-KTMB employee on medical board discharge surviving on less then RM1K per month to support his family and he sacrificed further scrapping from his own meager savings to buy that car for his son.
The is already a “We are all Adam Adli” Facebook with a spontaneous more than 25,900 likes leaving “Anti-Bersih” Facebook at 8,101 and the official 1Malaysia“Najib” Facebook when it began with a mere 3,000 likes.
The repercussions; action against Adam Adli
Both SMM and Adam Adli have refused to apologize for their actions and rightly so and swiftly without much investigation and giving Adam Adli a chance to explain his action and beliefs UPSI under UMNO’s instruction has issued a notice and initiate a disciplinary action against Adam Adli .The notice dated 23.12.11 issued by UPSI’s disciplinary body has brought two charges against him. The 1st Charge alleges, among other things, that Adam Adli has damaged the ‘ good name’ of UPSI and the 2nd Charge alleges that he has ‘endangered morals and public order’. Both charges are baseless, unconstitutional, illegal and plainly absurd. In lowering Najib’s flag, Adam Adli was exercising his right to freedom of expression which is guaranteed under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.
Adam Adli said he was not worried that the university might expel him as he could find places elsewhere. Furthermore, he added, it is not necessary that one needs to be at a campus to study. However, he is adamant that he did not commit any crime and members of his family have been threatened by UMNO supporters. He personally had been threatened several times since 17th December by one overzealous plain clothe policeman which have been indentified as some one named Mokhtar. A police report has been made pertaining o this. This policeman must have a very small brain which justified his stupid action for nothing but for the benefit of UMNO thieves.
There are more to it than just Adam Adli and the flag swapping action statement
Malaysia under the kleptocratic UMNO/BN government cannot contain the anger of the rakyat anymore. Adam Adli is one of the many pressure valves that have opened up to release the anger of the rakyat. This time it is the turn of the students to avenge their anger. Many pressure valves will be released in the immediate future. SMM has promised a mini revolt against the UMNO/BN government if they restrict the students further by amending the UUCA. Remember it was the self immolation of one Egyptian street vendor that sparked the Tahrir Square revolution!
Najib personally have failed to improve his image that he has cared so much for by spending millions of the rakyat’s money by engaging APCO and FBC media. He is simply stupid to think that his many wrong deeds could be covered by a make up. His has no integrity and by right the flag with his image should be left on the ground with the dirt which is what he is; dirt. By holding Najib’s flag in his hand Adam Adli has shown true heroic, honourable and noble gesture by sparing Najib the humility! It is like a gladiator sparing the life of a defeated opponent in the Roman coliseum.
The UMNO/BN propaganda machines have also failed miserably to brainwash the rakyat especially the younger IT literate generation. Thus Najib has embarked on the free Astro channel (using our money of course) and the RM10 million (also our money) cyber war against the opposition and trying to psycho the young people. The whole scenario also shows how desperate UMNO and Najib is in fighting for the mother of all elections but Adli Adam has shown him that Najib has failed from the start! In fact this new medium of communication like in the Arab spring could be the main instrument in defeating UMNO/BN.
Adam Adli has reminded us that Najib has also failed in all his transformation programs which are just rhetoric with no real substance at all. UMNO have also failed the nation by appointing Najib as the prime minister without being elected. Najib is never popular and has no support from the majority that his position has been ridiculed by all. Even his deputy Muhyiddin disagrees with him most of the time!
With this incident Adam Adli also shows that the resentment amongst the masses are near boiling point and whatever that Najib has tried to do like continuing to subsides essential items like petrol, gas, flour, rice and sugar is not enough. The distribution of the RM500 is of no use. The KR1M is a failure and the Kedai Ikan 1Malaysia is a waste. The rakyat is getting more fed up everyday since nobody has been taken to task on the overspendings as reported by the Auditor-General. It is the same for the NFC debacle as whatever seemingly tough action by the MACC is seen by the rakyat is another boring UMNO sandiwara.
Adam Adli has pointed out that Najib has failed in solving the teething problems faced by our nation like unemployment amongst the graduates, poverty both in the rural and urban areas, wastages in government spending, unnecessary spending on military hardware like the useless Scorpene submarines and the new navy patrol vessels at RM3 billion each involving corruption, the mediocre education system, high cost but low standard of living, racial and religious tensions, and all mismanagement by the UMNO/BN government for the past 54 years and continuous enriching the top few and their cronies.
The rakyat also must know by this wake up call by Adam Adli that the UMNO leaders are only serving their own personal interests and political agenda but not the welfare of the rakyat and the country. RM1 trillion has been stolen to date and yet the country is RM445 billion in debts.
Coincidently the Adam Adli incident was followed by the justice shown by the UMNO/BN government for jailing Khir Toyo for only 12 month found guilty of corruption in the purchase of his house to a tune of RM3.5 million and yet a jobless man who stole a bottle of shampoo be jailed for 24 months! It is the same in the case of the Shahrizat NFC scandal whereby her husband, children who are benefitting from their financial manipulations and yet the MACC is putting the blame on the “Datuk” and others in the Ministry of Finance!
The New Poster Boy; a real flesh, real hero
Adam Adli with brains, style, bravery, energy, zeal and unselfish attitude should be the icon and the latest Malaysian Poster boy who should be emulated by the younger generation. He should be their hero and one of our heroes as well.
Let us see how drastic Najib will react and how harsh the authorities will punish Adam Adli. However in the present circumstances it would be unwise for Najib to act drastically on this young man or jeopardize his future for that matter. Anyway it would be a futile effort to stop the rising tide and any form of unfair treatment to Adam Adli will just add more fuel to the anger of the rakyat, especially the youths. They need a hero, a real fighter and Najib could be producing one for them!
Let us assure him that he is not alone, he has our support and will back him all they way. Vote UMNO/BN out!