Student arrested as cops break up demo at Universiti Malaya entrance

Universiti Malaya students hold placards and large banners in support of vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim during a protest at the university in Kuala Lumpur October 25, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Universiti Malaya students hold placards and large banners in support of vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim during a protest at the university in Kuala Lumpur October 25, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — One student from the Malaysian Islamic Student Coalition (Gamis) was arrested when the police stopped its demonstration to show solidarity with Universiti Malaya (UM) vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim.

Chairman of Gamis’ women wing, Maizatul Afirah Ayub, was seen being taken into a police car in front of UM’s main gates after the police asked for her MyKad at around 2.45pm.

She was the third speaker at the demonstration when a policeman confiscated the microphone and PA system, before telling those gathered since 2.10pm to disperse.

One of the students who took part in the protest in front of Universiti Malaya is led away by police officers in Kuala Lumpur October 25, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
One of the students who took part in the protest in front of Universiti Malaya is led away by police officers in Kuala Lumpur October 25, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Gamis president Ikhwan Nasyriq Salihin said the police also asked him and another student, Saifullah Baiduri, to give their statements at Pantai police station.

He said they had planned to march peacefully from the main gates to the Chancellery Hall about 800m away and gather at the varsity’s famed Speaker’s Corner.

“We did not engage in any violence or provocation but dispersed to ensure the safety of the Gamis students here.

“If UM had given us the space to enter, I think what the police had an issue with would not have been a problem,” he told reporters afterwards.

Students hold placards during a protest at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur October 25, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Students hold placards during a protest at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur October 25, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Ikhwan also said that they had invited PAS’ Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhi Shaari and former UM student activist and PAS central committee member Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki as guest speakers.

However, they were informed by UM security that the gates would be closed between 2pm to 2.30pm due to the demonstration.

About 30 Gamis students attended carrying banners saying, “We stand with VCUM”, as well as placards and signs condemning Universiti Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany) and DAP.

A police officer speaks to the students in front of Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur October 25, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A police officer speaks to the students in front of Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur October 25, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

The gates’ closure caused traffic to back up for over a kilometre from the Kerinchi flyover to the KL entrance of the university.

The police deputy superintendent who confiscated the microphone declined to speak to the press.

The students also condemned the action of Wong Yan Ke who held up a banner while receiving his scroll on stage during his convocation ceremony earlier this month, accusing Rahim of racism and calling for his resignation for attending the Malay Dignity Congress.

Universiti Malaya students hold placards and large banners in support of vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim during a protest at the university in Kuala Lumpur October 25, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Universiti Malaya students hold placards and large banners in support of vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim during a protest at the university in Kuala Lumpur October 25, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

The students also demanded that the university ban University Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany) of which Wong had been president.

Some speakers also condemned DAP.

“We saw how Wong Yan Ke is very active and close to DAP, so we feel that his actions have ties with DAP,” Ikhwan alleged.

Universiti Malaya vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim attends the General Poverty, Human Rights and Youth Future Lecture at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur October 24, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Universiti Malaya vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim attends the General Poverty, Human Rights and Youth Future Lecture at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur October 24, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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