Maszlee moots abolishing rules barring varsity students from politics

File picture shows student activist Asheeq Ali (right) meeting Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik after a meeting with a group of students in Kuala Lumpur September 12, 2018. — Picture by Azneal Ishak
File picture shows student activist Asheeq Ali (right) meeting Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik after a meeting with a group of students in Kuala Lumpur September 12, 2018. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 — Education Minister Maszlee Malik announced today he would push for the repeal of legal provisions that prohibited students from participating in politics.

News portal Malaysiakini also reported him as saying that he planned to empower students to run campus elections without interference from university administrations.

“In the upcoming Parliament sitting, I will bring the [plans on the] abolishments towards certain provisions which bar students from being active in politics,” Maszlee was quoted saying after meeting student activists in Putrajaya to discuss abolishing the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971.

The minister reportedly said the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) has agreed to form a students’ union and to have a representative in the Senate.

Student activist Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi, who was recently arrested for conducting a sit-in protest outside the Education Ministry’s office in Putrajaya to call for Maszlee’s resignation as IIUM president, reportedly said the minister has agreed to drop politically motivated actions against students under the UUCA.

“The past government initiated the politically motivated actions under UUCA and those actions will be dropped.

“We are happy and fully accept the decision by the ministry to drop the actions against the students who had voiced out their opinions during the BN (Barisan Nasional) era,” Asheeq was quoted saying.

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