Monday, March 20, 2006

Another 17 Malaysian students faced trial

BREAKING NEWS: Another 17 students from the University Malaya attended the disciplinary action trial by the university authority.

Following the series crackdown on the students in UPM and USM, now the 17 students who went to the Parliament to send the memorandum to the then Minister of Higher Education on September 21, 2005.

Members of the ASA, Malaysia Students and Youth Democratic Movement (DEMA) presented in the court hearing in solidarity with the 17 UM students. The central committee of the DEMA together with another 100 students were there to protest such crackdown of the UM authority.

Malaysia is famous with its draconian laws. The most repressive laws that prevent the academic freedom and the campus democracy is the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) that prohibit the students to get involve in political activities. Furthermore, it forbid the students to organize themselves especially in the critical activities towards the government or the ruling policies. The 17 students were charged under such laws.

When the students gathered outside the trial building, the security personnel harrass the students by stop the speeches delivery. There was a camera shooting to those who attended the protest gathering to create the atmosphere of fear. This is the culture of the university in Malaysia.

How we can really confident with the new Minister of Higher Education who committed himself to reform the university? How can we achieve a world-class university if we have such a repressive law inside the university? How can one expect the quality of the students in Malaysia will reach the world standard?

These are the questions for those who decided to take the 17 UM students to the trial. Hopefully they will think twice for the sake of the academic development and the nation.