Politics Remains Off-Limits for Students in Malaysia

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Mon Dec 15 17:51:52 UTC 2008

Politics Remains Off-Limits for Students in Malaysia

Malaysia's parliament has voted to uphold a law that bans students
from joining political parties or engaging in politics, The New
Straits Times, a newspaper in Kuala Lumpur, reported.

The Universities and University Colleges Act was passed in 1971 to
quell student activism that threatened the ruling government. But
nearly 40 years later, critics argue that the act is stifling academic
freedom by curtailing speech and freedom of association. Under the law
it is illegal to express "support, sympathy, or opposition to any
political party." But it is also illegal to criticize or boycott "any
examination, lecture, tutorial, class, or other authorized activities"
of a university without the university's permission. Those who violate
the law can be imprisoned or fined.

Human-rights groups and Malaysia's opposition parties have long
lobbied for the act to be repealed. In an apparent concession to
critics, the parliament added amendments that permit students to join
off-campus social groups. During the parliamentary debate, several
opposition lawmakers said that the act is responsible for the decline
in intellectual standards of Malaysia's students. But other lawmakers
said that the law was not at fault but that Malaysian students were
simply too lazy to study, another Malaysian newspaper, The Star,
reported. —Martha Ann Overland


N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to
its members
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner
or sponsor of
the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who
disagree with a
message are encouraged to post a rebuttal. (H. Schiffman, Moderator)

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list