Saturday, April 23, 2005

Aliran: Compensate "ISA 7" for wasted year

UPDATE: Following the court acquited the ISA 7 case, different calls from the civil society in the Malaysia. One of the publication in Malaysia, Aliran, who publish monthly political magazine. They congratulate the students who stand firm in their principle even the Education Minister reinstated the students need to apologise.

Here are some part of the statement from the Aliran.

Four years of their lives have been wasted thanks to the universities' high-handed action in suspending them and to the police for taking them to court without just cause. They had been punished even before they could be found guilty - and now the court has thrown out the case. Such high-handed action by the authorities will only bolster demands for the Universities and University Colleges Act to be abolished.

We demand that the students be reinstated in their respective varsities without condition. Furthermore, the authorities must adequately compensate the students. The compensation should be large enough to deter similar actions by the authorities based on flimsy and frivolous grounds. This would also force the police to be more responsible in their actions.

Besides Aliran, the People's Voice or Suaram in her statement "Final Justice for ISA 7" also demanded the government to allocate full scholarship to the ISA 7. They deserve for the rights to access the education. Due to this unlawful charge, the students were denied to access to the university.

In light of gross injustice meted upon the students, we urge the following: -
1) That the universities reinstate the seven students;
2) That the Ministry of Education compensate the students with full scholarships to all the seven students to the courses and universities of their choice; and
3) That the universities, the Minister of Education and the Royal Malaysian Police Force offer a public apology to all seven students.

Even the Attorney General is given 10 days to consider whether to appeal the court's decision. As the victims of the Universities and University Colleges Act, the campaign to call for compensation might be a way to stop such kind of repression. It also can build up the awareness of the people about such draconian laws really need to be abolish.