Um Protest Issue Can Be Resolved Internally Says Penang Exco Member
GEORGE TOWN: Withdrawing the degree from University Malaya student activist Wong Yan Ke after he protested against the vice-chancellor is against the freedom of speech principle fought by the present government, says a Penang exco member
Dr Afif Bahardin, who is the Permatang Pauh PKR deputy division chief, also said there was no need for police intervention in the issue as it could be resolved internally by the university
"I feel that the call to withdraw Wong Yan Ke's degree is against the principle of speech freedom fought by the present government
"The action if the police is also unnecessary considering the matter can be resolved within the university," he said in the statement Thursday (Oct 17).
"A face-to-face negotiation is needed between the vice-chancellor and Wong, together with the University Malaya Student Union, to resolve the issue so that it will not be politised by opportunists.
"I agree with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman that every act of demonstration in the name of freedom of speech should be done responsibly and in respect of the current situation."The present government, through the Education Ministry, has reformed higher institutions to empower undergraduates in their involvement in various matters, including running their own campus elections," he added
Afif expressed his hope that the matter would be resolved with wisdom and tolerance, and urged external parties to not seek opportunities to politicise it with racial elements
On Monday (Oct 14), UM lodged a police report against Wong, who staged a solo protest calling for the resignation of the varsity’s vice-chancellor, Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim
Wong unveiled a placard saying "Tolak Rasis" (reject racism) and "Undur VC" (step down, VC) and shouted "Ini Tanah Malaysia" (This is Malaysia) on stage after he received his scroll
On Wednesday (Oct 16), police confirmed that they were investigating the matter
City police chief Comm Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim said the case was being probed under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of peace.- Star
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