16 October 2019
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is perturbed by the police report lodged by University Malaya following the protest by Wong Yan Ke during the convocation ceremony.
The position adopted by University Malaya only shows that the management of the university has not progressed at all despite the change of policies by the Ministry of Education. SUARAM has previously stood as a witness for Anis Syafiqah and others when they were penalized by University Malaya for organizing the Tangkap MO1 rally in Kuala Lumpur. It would seem that the management still aims to paint students’ act of civil disobedience as a deplorable act irrespective of the reasons or motivation behind them.
University Malaya and all universities are supposed to be a safe space where students and youth are given a safe space to learn, debate and develop their ideas. As part of this process, any critique against policies through protests or civil disobedience is to be expected and welcomed so long it does not promote violence against others.
If the Vice-Chancellor is not able to take criticism from students nor is he willing to provide the safe space for student activists to engage in such discourse, perhaps it is high time for him to resign from his position and allow others to lead and develop University Malaya as an academic institution that promotes critical discourse among its students.
SUARAM applauds the courage of the student activists in University Malaya in expressing their views without fear or favour and calls on University Malaya to retract the police report made against the student.