Thursday, 1 September 2016


Every so often I find it necessary to remind students of certain rules and regulations that are in force at KYUEM. It is important, also on relatively rare occasions, to remind visitors to the college of some of these. KYUEM is, in many ways, a bit of a conundrum. We are not an adult institution like a university or a vocational college, yet neither are we a school for children. For instance, we have I believe, quite generous curfew hours for a residential college and generally, we do our best to treat students as adults as often as we can.

But, like all such places, and bearing in mind the ethnic and religious diversity of our student population, we need to have rules in place that are fairly rigorously applied that will work for everyone. The Bursar, for example, is well aware of my zero tolerance of smoking in open areas and that I often come down hard on contractors who ignore the many signs informing them of the fact. My view on this is simple: if we don't allow students to smoke, we shouldn't allow others to do so. Staff who wish to smoke in their private accommodation is a different matter: that's a personal decision and they are not doing so in public areas.

Now let's turn to driving. Periodically, I find it necessary to remind visitors to the campus and occasionally teachers, too, that we must drive slowly and carefully when inside KYUEM. Moreover, students are not allowed to drive at any time to and from the college. Recently, we have had two separate occasions where a student has driven himself to the college and parked outside the main gate. This is not allowed at any time and in both instances parents were reminded of the rule by letter.

One of our ongoing concerns is security. Today's world is beset by matters of health and safety covering a wide variety of issues and we must be very diligent in keeping abreast of them. Accordingly, I have been struck recently by the fact that we do not check vehicles entering or leaving the premises as thoroughly as we might. Parents or approved drivers with college-issued ID cards will be exempted from this, but in future we will be instructing the gate guards to ask all visitors to open the boots (or "trunks" for any US-educated readers!) of their cars, on entry and exit. I would much rather be accused of erring on the side of caution than allowing our security to become lax.

Next, students seeking permission to leave the college of an evening have recently come under scrutiny. Parents and sponsors will know that any student who wishes to go off campus at weekends must obtain prior permission from Student Services, a House Parent or me. Of late, we have noticed an increase in the number of students wishing to leave college during the evenings of the working week, i.e. Monday to Thursday. I would just like to remind everyone that the only reason students should be doing so is if they are accompanied by their personal tutor or a teacher who is taking a group of them out for an approved reason. We also allow parents to take their children out for an evening during the week, if they are in the area. However, the rules for the above are simple and straightforward: anyone wishing to leave campus and who has a bona fide reason for doing so, should depart no later than 6.00 pm and be back at KYUEM by 9.00 pm, unless special permission has been granted beforehand.

I firmly believe that all our rules at KYUEM are sensible and benefit us all. Nobody, least of all me, wishes to behave like a policeman, but in any well ordered society, there must be policies and procedures that are adhered to for the good of everyone.

To change the subject, and to lighten the mood somewhat, please now have a look at three photos taken this week. The first (seated, from right to left) is of our Senior Management Team: Datin Rubaiha, myself, Pn. Halijah (Student Services), En. Azman (Academic Management), En. Nik (Bursar) and Pn. Kasthuri (University Relations). The second is of all the teaching staff and lastly, the whole college staff of KYUEM.

Lastly, let me take of the opportunity of wishing everyone belated greetings for Malaysia's National Day.