MCA says UM grad protested because Education Ministry ignored complaints about VC

Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong speaks to reporters in Parliament after the tabling of Budget 2020 on October 11, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong speaks to reporters in Parliament after the tabling of Budget 2020 on October 11, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong defended Universiti Malaya (UM) graduate Wong Yan Ke who protested at a convocation ceremony on Monday.

Wee said that while the convocation ceremony was an inappropriate venue for the protest, it occurred because the Education Ministry did not act on complaints against UM vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim.

“As far as the freedom of speech is concerned, I think, yes, every citizen is entitled to his view. You can express your disagreement on the speech by the VC. I think this is the student’s right, it's okay.

“The cause was due to what? The speech by the VC. That was the cause of the whole fracas so we should address the issue from the cause,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.

Wee criticised both Education Minister Maszlee Malik and his deputy, Teo Nie Ching, for not addressing complaints about Abdul Rahim and letting the issue fester.

“And this is under your ministry, you can't let this issue out of hand. A lot of people say we should do this and that, but when you become overzealous, then things are beyond your control,” he said.

On Monday (Oct 14), UM barred the student from the ceremony after he staged a solo protest calling for the resignation of the VC for attending and making allegedly racist statements at the Malay Dignity Congress on October 6.

The university also lodged a police report against Wong and he was questioned over this yesterday.

The Universiti Malaya Academic Staff Union (PKAUM) yesterday expressed its support for Wong and stated its regret over the circumstances that led the student into the protest.

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