KUALA LUMPUR – May 12, 2017: Umno has denied an opposition allegation that it forced university students to attend its 71st anniversary celebrations at the National Stadium last night.
What happened was that Umno had actually invited some university students to attend for being part of the Barisan Nasional Tranformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) programme.
TN50 is a government initiative to plan for the future of the country for the 2020 to 2050 period.
“Umno has opened the door for the younger generation to participate in TN50. These students will also be the ones to work with Umno later. Therefore, it (their presence at the event) should not be an issue,” said Umno executive secretary Datuk Seri Ab. Rauf Yusoh when contacted in South Korea today.
The hullabaloo started after several Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) students complained that they were instructed to attend a volunteer programme at the stadium.
A picture of what appears to be a letter from the university’s vice-chancellor, making it mandatory for all students of the Shah Alam UiTM to participate, had gone viral.
Pribumi Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was among those who accused Umno of using the students for its political interests.
He claimed to have received over 300 complaints that the students were forced to attend the event, while some were offered money to do so.
PKR Youth deputy chief Dr. Afif Bahardin has demanded UiTM to clarify but the university’s corporate communications department declined to comment.
The celebration was attended by an estimated 100,000 people.