Universiti Bangsar Utama (UBU)

Education, Refugees, Youth

Email addressuniversiti_bangsar@yahoo.com
Phone number+6 019 205 7498 (Jonah)
Phone number+6 012 252 1711 (Black)
Year of establishment2000
Address52 C, Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar Utama, 59000, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
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Who are we

UBU comprises of youth and universities students from various areas in Kuala Lumpur. As a progressive, democratic and concerned youth and students group, we are very much involved in providing our energy, creativity, ideas and ideals in community based activities and programmes with underprivileged and marginalised communities.

We feel that a bridge between student sector and other oppressed sectors from society should be built to link and strengthen the various pro-democracy forces in our country. For a long time a vacuum has existed between the student sector and other sectors in society.

At this point in time, there are not many programmes and activities being implemented to bridge and link students other sectors in society. As such, it seems that student groups in our country are isolated from the rest of society.

Our programmes

We feel that this situation should be addressed through committed initiative to fill in the social vacuum with various community-based programmes and activities, which are dynamic and progressive.

This vacuum needs to be filled before the gap between students and other sectors in society becomes bigger and bigger. The involvement of students in community based programmes and other activities that are pro-people need to be implemented without any delay.

Hence, initiatives and continuous commitment from the students must be implemented from now on through progressive educational programmes and activities.

We feel these programmes and activities should be handled and organised by the students themselves as a means for them to be independent, critical and creative in organising themselves as well as in organising the people they work with.

Our challenges

However, the bureaucratic structure in all universities in Malaysia today has stifled the growth of students to be independent minded, creative, progressive and critical in looking at and being involved in issues that affect society.

Student Affairs Division – Bahagian Hal Ehwal Pelajar (HEP) was formed to control and monitor student programmes and activities. This means that programmes and activities organised by students must get permission and approval from HEP before they can be implemented.

All activities that are seen as undesirable in the eyes of HEP such as students putting up a firm stand on human rights violation in Malaysia or student involvement with democratic reform in Malaysia, are dealt with in a very undemocratic and severe manner. Either students involved are reprimanded, suspended or expelled; or their proposed programmes and activities are rejected.

The campuses climate and environment that are not conducive; the democratic space and opportunities for the student to be intellectually developed and expanded being stifled; and the enforcement of repressive laws of Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) preventing students from involving in pro-democracy activism; is definitely not a suitable element in order to produce students and youths that are committed, courageous, creative, critical and full of idealism.

Why University of Bangsar Utama ?

Since 1998, an area in Bangsar Utama has become a place for student activists from various campuses in Kuala Lumpur to hang out and discuss progressive theories, current affairs and issues as well as looking at how we can contribute and participate actively in democratic reform in our country.

From a mere discussion, it evolved into the implementation of our ideas and ideals when we finally decided to rent a space in Bangsar Utama on April 2000 as our base and operational center to plan and implement all our community based programs and activities.

Choosing the name for our own little democratic place as University of Bangsar Utama is for re-socialising and re-educating ourselves as responsible students and youths for the benefit of society.

Programs and Activities

Our programs and activities are based on cultivating, nurturing and building the personality of students and youths to be confident and conscious, progressive and democratic, creative and courageous, critical and responsible.

We feel that the best methodology to install such positive virtues is through education and training programs. Therefore, our programs and activities offered to the communities, youth and students are based on Education Programs.

Our education programs are divided into 3 categories. First, education programs for the community in Bangsar Utama. Second, for the students in various university campuses in Kuala Lumpur and third for the public.

Community of Bangsar Utama

Our programmes are:

  • English tuition classes for secondary school students
  • Mathematics tuition classes for secondary school students
  • Drawing and Painting classes and activities for secondary school students
  • Theatre classes for youth and secondary students
  • Music classes for youth and secondary students
  • Camping, visiting art galleries, museum and other extra-activities for youths and students

All the programmes and activities offered are free of charge.

Our programmes for University Students and Youth include:

  • Monthly discussions with panellists and resource persons
  • Weekly group discussions with university students and youth
  • Weekly film analyses and discussion
  • Human Rights Training Programmes for University Students and Youths
  • Democracy and Human Rights Workshops
  • Coalition Building and Networking with various other student groups for the advancement of democratic reform in our country

Our programmes for the general public include:

Educational Street Theatre and Agit-prop performance for the public
Musical performances with progressive songs for the public

Our street theatre, agit-prop, music and songs include progressive element on human rights, democracy and social justice.

Democratic Reform and Civil and Political Rights Movement

UBU student activists are also involved in the struggle for democratic reform and civil and political right movement by participating in civil disobedience. SUARAM is one of the NGOs that UBU student activists have a working relationship with.

Our student activists have been selected by SUARAM to join a Fact Finding Mission for Achenes Refugees in 1999 and as Observers in the Indonesian 1999 General Election organised by Asian Network For Free and Fair Elections (ANFREL).

Last year, we also collaborated with SUARAM as a joint organiser for protest against Internal Security Act (ISA) in front of ISA Detention Centre in Kamunting.

In November 1999, with assistance from ERA (Education Research Association) we had organised a Human Rights Training Camp for five days in Port Dickson with more than 60 students from various campuses in Malaysia join the programmes.

And in March 2001 together with SUARAM we organised a two day Human Rights Workshop on Police Power and Citizen Rights for university students and youths.

Our aspirations

With this brief introduction of us as the University of Bangsar Utama Student Group, our programmes and activities as well as what we stand for, our ideas and ideals of contributing actively for the advancement of democratic reform and the building of a just society in our country; we hope that a further commitment and relationship can be explored, advanced and achieved between us.


 
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