KOTA KINABALU: Co-organiser of SUHAKAM Human Rights Relay Run and Concert - Yellow Dots expressed their extreme disappointment regarding the actions taken by UMS about the last minute cancellation, and also the statement given by Universiti Malaysia Sabah Vice Chancellor Datuk Dr. Mohd Harun Abdullah
The participants and volunteers of the event that was recently held on the 8th of December 2012 to celebrate the basic rights accorded to all people, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender and abilities, came from all over Sabah, some coming from as far as Paitan, Tawau and Tenom.
According to Jan Chow, spokesperson for Yellow Dots, this had caused much inconvenience, especially those participants who have come from afar and incurred expenses such as the run fee, transportation and accommodation to attend this event.
“This is an absolutely irresponsible move, especially coming from an institution of higher learning, which should be able to show a better example. We had to make emergency plans until the wee hours on the morning, all because of this decision to cancel our use of venue at an extremely short notice. We had booked and paid for this venue at least 3 months ago, which should be more than sufficient time for them to coordinate their activities.
“They did not even have the mandate to cancel our event, yet they had put up a 20ft long banner announcing the cancellation of the event without our knowledge.
“Furthermore, the VC also failed to respond to our phone calls and cut off all forms of communication, a very unprofessional and perhaps guilty(?) move. We were surprised to see that the staff of the UMS Sports Department being made into a scapegoat for this irresponsible behaviour” she added.
As a result the event organisers had to incur additional expenses and losses, such as damage to musical instruments, sound system and hand-designed exhibition materials, as a result from the heavy rain which could have been avoided had the event continued at the original planned venue.
The organisers had also prepared food and drinks for the expected crowd of 2,000 – 3,000 participants and volunteers for this big scale event.
In spite of the shortcomings of the event, Jan was very grateful to the bands and sound system providers for their utmost patience and understanding throughout the event.
“I now feel that it is imperative for me to speak out how much UMS has let us down, the people who are commemorating a day observed internationally by the UN. UMS should not just apologise to SUHAKAM but to each and every one of the 2,000 participants, volunteers and organisers. It is an injustice if such an action should be left unattended to without the appropriate amount of compensation for the inconveniences and losses we have suffered”