A student group has urged Universiti Malaya (UM) to drop plans for disciplinary action against its students for holding placards during a 1MDB town hall meeting last year.
Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia chairperson Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof said the university’s move to penalise the students for voicing dissent would show that it is being manipulated by certain quarters with vested interests.
“It also indicates how universities are becoming increasingly fragile due to interference by certain quarters who are threatened by the voice of students.”
At a town hall meeting last October, while 1MDB group executive director and president Arul Kanda Kandasamy was addressing university students, four UM pupils held up placards displaying the slogans “students want answers” and “1MDB – we want answers”.
Instead of penalising them, the university should address the recent education budget cuts, she said, referring to a report where 6,000 lecturers in public universities were dismissed due to cuts in 2016.
“However, it seems as though the university is busy handling disciplinary proceedings.
“At the end of the day, it’s up to the university whether it will stop taking orders from certain quarters with vested interests,” she added. “Otherwise we will see the demise of the national education institution.”
The four affected students are members of the Universiti Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany).
The group’s former president Ho Chi Yang, deputy president Tan Jia You, publicity bureau head Chua Hun Ti and secretary-general Lau Li Yang have been issued a notice of disciplinary proceedings by UM over the protests.
The hearing was initially held on Jan 18, but was later postponed to today.
Umany president Koh Hua En hopes for the university to drop all charges against the four.
“We are hoping for the best, that no action will be taken against the students.”
If found guilty by the UM disciplinary committee, the students can be fined up to RM200, suspended or expelled.
Source : Tarrence Tan @ FMT Online