I was a student leader once, so i think i understand the politics at play here. The spokesman of the Student leaders of public institutions of higher learning (IPTA), Mohd Efendi Omar (who also happens to be UM's Student Council President), issued a statement "suggesting that the International Islamic University (IIU) review its ruling requiring non-Muslim students to wear the tudung."
â€œFor Muslims there is no question about it, but there should be sensitivity when involving non-Muslims. If they (non-Muslims) feel comfortable wearing the tudung, then they should go ahead, but they should not be compelled to do so if they don't feel comfortable,â€� said Efendi, when contacted yesterday.
via The Star.
Now, i'm not sure when things changed in the IPTA (during my time, an official "suggestion" of this nature was unheard of), but its perhaps not a Pandora's Box the IPTA should be opening right now: criticising policies and rules of member universities. If the IIU student body, which was democratically elected, and the student administration has no problems with the rule requiring proper Islamic dress for all its students (male and female), then what right does any other student union/body have to tell them to change it? It smacks of high-handedness and interference in the internal matters of IIU.
How would the students of UM feel if the IIU Student Council President came out and took a holier-than-thou approach and "suggest" that all Muslim students of UM be dressed according to the Muslim dress code? The fact that he would do no such thing indicates a sensitivity that Mohd Efendi obviously lacks.