Wednesday, November 17, 2004

On Soh Sook Hwa: Recognize the Political Rights of Students and Youth

Dear friends,

We ask your support and solidarity to the campaign for upholding and protection of political rights and civil liberties by the DEMA (Malaysia Youth and Students Democratic Movement), a member organization of the Asian Students Association.

In particular, we request that we altogether support Soh Sook Hwa, a 22 year old student who is now being prosecuted for being allegedly involved in the March 2004 elections in Malaysia. Whether or not she has involved herself in the last elections by supporting any political party or candidate, it is but her right as an individual and a constituent of the Malaysian society to express her political beliefs and stand by them.

The Universities and University Colleges Act, among other laws in Malaysia, is a very repressive and oppressive tool wielded both by the state and the university administrations to curb the Malaysian youth's critical voice. Once prosecuted, most students are suspended or expelled from the university. The University of Science Malaysia, as what we will learn from the document sent by DEMA, has been notorious in using this law to suppress students' rights and freedoms.

We wish for you to write as an organization or an individual to the USM administration to request, if not demand, recognition of Soh's political rights and freedoms, among other things. Let us not allow the USM authorities and the UUCA law to hinder Soh's political growth and her future.

Please forward a copy of your letter to us in ASA ( as well as to our fellow comrades and leaders (

We look forward to your reply and action.

With our hearts, minds and hands joined with the youth and people, we will never falter.