KUALA LUMPUR – Umno and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) have denied allegations that students from the university are being made to attend the party’s 71st anniversary celebration at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight.
The claims have been made on Twitter, with some UiTM students saying that they have been made to attend a “volunteer program” by the university later today.
PKR deputy youth chief Dr Afif Bahardin claimed he received a WhatsApp message from a UiTM staff member regarding the same issue.
But Umno information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa denied the claims, saying that the Umno anniversary celebrations tonight were “open” to anyone interested in taking part.
“Tonight is an open event. Anyone can go. It’s an open carnival. No instructions [to UiTM] and no problem. It is a public space.
“If UiTM wants to join, no problem,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted this afternoon.
Kuala Selangor MP Datuk Seri Irmohizam Ibrahim, who sits on UiTM’s board of directors, believes that such claims are fake and aimed at tainting the good image of UiTM.
“I have no information regarding this. I think this is an accusation and an irresponsible claim which can damage the image and good name of UiTM,” he told Malay Mail Online.
Malay Mail Online has also contacted UiTM vice-chancellor Datuk Hassan Said and is awaiting his official response.
Earlier today on Twitter, some user who said they were UiTM students claimed they had no idea the “volunteer program” they were meant to attend was in fact related to Umno’s anniversary gathering.
“i dont even know ada kena mengena dgn UMNO tbh. I thought it was for sport event or something cause they say we ‘volunteer’.
“Translation: I don’t even know there was anything to do with Umno to be honest. I thought it was for a sporting event or something because they say we ‘volunteer’,” Twitter user @solerarity said in reply to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) youth chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, and attached what appears to be letter from the vice-chancellor regarding the matter.
Syed Saddiq had asked Twitter users to share any information regarding UiTM students being made to attend Umno’s event tonight.
PKR’s Dr Afif also alleged that there was an effort by Umno to “manipulate and mobilise” university students to attend the event.
“We suspect that the program involves Umno’s 71 anniversary celebrations,” Afif said in a statement.
He also included screenshots of the WhatsApp message allegedly from a UiTM staff member detailing the students’ involvement in the Umno gathering.
About 140,000 party members from all corners of the country are expected to attend tonight’s event which will be attended and officiated by Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The event will also see the launch of the construction of the 70-storey KL Putra tower and the presentation of the Distinguished Malay Figure (Tokoh Melayu Terbilang) award to three recipients.
There will also be lucky draws offering prizes worth about RM1 million, including six cars and 10 motorcycles at the event.
– Malay Mail