Thursday, 11 September 2014


Periodically, a student comes to us for permission to have a refrigerator in his or her accommodation. Space is limited, fridges use a lot of electricity and there are some cheaper models on the market that do not meet our high standards of safety. When we receive such a request we consider it carefully. In some cases, the student concerned has a valid health or dietary reason, and if so, we allow the parents to bring a fridge onto the campus, provided that the make and model is of a high enough quality. So far so good.

Now consider this: a senior student asks permission to have a fridge at KYUEM and gets a letter from us granting it. The fridge arrives, the student completes his senior year and leaves. Before departing, however, he sells his fridge to a junior colleague who now comes back as a senior with a fridge. We ask him to justify ownership of the appliance and he produces the letter of a year ago (written on behalf of someone else) as "proof."

Sometimes it's not a fridge. We are aware of microwave ovens and various other domestic gadgets all of which add to our significant monthly electricity bill. So, I have decided that over the next week or so we are going to have a "gadget audit" of all chalets and apartments. We will need to see proof that a fridge (or anything else) is really needed and if that proof is in short supply, we will require the item to be removed from KYUEM.

I would also like you to consider this: sometimes a request for a fridge is accompanied by a note from a doctor saying that the student concerned needs somewhere cool to store his/her medicine. Fair enough; but will that student need medication for the whole year? Frankly, I doubt it. It would be far easier for us to store the medicine concerned in a college fridge until the treatment is over. Thereafter, the need for a student appliance is removed.

As I write this, I believe there are several confiscated fridges cluttering up the Wardens' offices. These have been taken there because we either don't consider them safe or because there is no current approval for them to be in student accommodation. While the audit is going on, I am humbly asking all parents not to bring any more fridges on to the campus - believe me, we have more than enough of them!

Once the audit is complete, and we know exactly what is what, you can write to us if you really think your son or daughter needs a fridge in their room. I promise you that we will examine each case on its merits and act accordingly.

I was going to end this post by asking you all to cool things for a while. It is probably better for me to ask for some common sense to prevail while we sort out our multiplicity of excess electrical devices.


  1. Good evening Dr. We note your concerns and completely understand your position. However, as a parent, I have some points that I would like to raise on behalf of my child, who is a senior in KYUEM. I have sent my child to one of the most prestigious colleges in Malaysia, for him to obtain a quality education and I am very satisfied with that. However, I would also like him to be as comfortable as possible while he pursues his A levels. My child has told me that an amenity like this will make things more convenient outside the dining hours or during stressful exam periods. For me, my main concern is the wellbeing and health of my child. From your blog Dr, your concern is the electricity bill. I would like to put forward a suggestion. If the electricity bill is putting a strain on the college budget, I suggest contributing a little to ease the burden of the college. Instead of imposing a restriction on these amenities, the college imposes a fixed fee to subsidise the electricity bill of the college. If this is allowed, we as parents can choose to provide these facilities for our children while at the same time, not put any financial stress on the college. In my opinion, I hope a win win situation for both students and the college. They get to have the facilities they need, at the expense of the parents instead of the college. I hope that my suggestion will be given due consideration, and I hope I speak on behalf of most parents, as we all want is the best for our children. I am more than willing to pay a little for a better quality of life for my child. Thank you for your time reading this Dr.