Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Acquittal of Rosli Dahlan

After 3 years (since 2007) of seeking justice against offences he did not commit, lawyer Rosli Dahlan is finally a free man to resume his legal practice and rebuild his family life. On Monday, Judge Abu Bakar Khattar acquitted him without his defense being called.

Justice may have been served even though he and his family suffered distress, agony and humiliation as a result of the callous action of the Attorney-General and MACC. Rosli is simply, a victim of selective prosecution. This is the evil that some Malaysians do to other Malaysians.

And for the naïve amongst us who believe that fee hikes in the UK is the only painful thing that will strike at students going into universities, think again! Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced that universities will have to grapple cuts of nearly £700 million in their budgets next year. The Independent (Webpage reported on Monday that student numbers will be frozen this year – and funding for an extra 10,000 places agreed by the cursed Tory-Lib Dem Government for this September will be withdrawn the following year. The announcement comes as universities face an unprecedented demand for student places next September.

Up to 209,000 youngsters denied a place this autumn will be competing with those anxious to avoid paying higher tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year coming into force in September 2012.

The biggest victim of this year’s cuts is capital funding – pared from £532 million this year to £223 million next. The teaching budget will also be pauperized from £4,949 million to £4.645 million – prompting fears of further redundancies and axed courses. Grants for research will also be impoverished from £1,618 million to £1, 549 million.

The funding cut, which comes into effect before they can expect any increased revenue from rises in tuition fees, was described as “a Christmas kick in the teeth” by lecturers’ leaders.

British students will not take this lying down – they will fight back! And other stakeholders are sure to join in.

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