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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 23. 21st September 1972

An Open Note to the Editor of the MSSA Critique

An Open Note to the Editor of the MSSA Critique.


I do not claim to be a veteran reader of your MSSA Critique, but having successively read three issues of your magazine, I have felt moved to burst into print for the first time.

While it may be worthwhile having a magazine of such a nature for it seems to serve as a "forum" catering for a section of the zealous Malaysian students, it is nevertheless a bit "mishandled". Indeed, some of your articles have "stood up, bold and brave," yet I find in reading them that there is a synthesis of very scanty seriousness, albeit there is in effect an undue superfluity of, inter alia, wisecrack and waffle.

It may be ideal too, to present facts and views of "home politics" to the Malaysian students who are concerned about the well being of the country, but I doubt if the manner of comment and criticism so adopted in your magazine can achieve any favourable reciprocal ends. Politics may be dirty or unsanctified, but in criticising or commenting on it, there should be a certain objective standard of judgement for without which it could sometimes be quite unacceptable or inconvinceable.

We are tired of being fed with grudging and resentful "home-news-and home-politics" stuff all the time, but to say this does not neccessarily mean that we should sit back and adopt the "ostrich policy" We accept the fact that we shoul that "home-life" is not all roses, but our doom is not sealed too. "Revolution" is only the talk of the "riff-raff" and "lunatic" nowadays; reformation within the system itself may prove to be feasible.

I sincerely hope that in your yet-to-come issues, an attitude of "fair comment" will be adopted when analysing "home-politics" so as to give us a sense of balance-a 50-50 treatment of both sides of the story. Pure virulent attack without constructive suggestions or actions is always more harm than good. Articles of the "monstrous, muddle-headed, pridefully aggressive, immorally jingoistic substance or element" should best be avoided. Indeed, "The Rape of the Lock" may have opened the flood-gate of the "real instigators or abettors" who could have irresponsibly led us to the subsequent, wider racial dissonance, and if this is what your magazine is intended, then, I am afraid that the rape is being committed with a degree of callousness and cruelty that may well have shaken the sensibility. Would it were left to rest in peace.

Stephen Chai.