UM grad confirms will be charged tomorrow over convocation protest against VC

Wong Yan Ke confirmed he will be charged tomorrow over his protest in October 2019. — Picture via Facebook/Wong Yan Ke
Wong Yan Ke confirmed he will be charged tomorrow over his protest in October 2019. — Picture via Facebook/Wong Yan Ke

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Universiti Malaya (UM) graduate Wong Yan Ke today confirmed that he will be charged tomorrow over his October 2019 protest against the university’s vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim during his graduation ceremony then.

Wong said he received a call from the police informing him to present himself at the magistrates’ court in Kuala Lumpur over his protest during UM’s convocation ceremony.

“I will be charged under Penal Code’s Section 504 which is about breach of peace and public order,” the civil engineering graduate told Malay Mail, adding that he will be present at the court building tomorrow morning with his lawyer.

Section 504 of the Penal Code covers the offence of causing intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace, and imposes the penalty of a maximum two-year jail term or fine or both upon conviction.

On October 14, 2019, Wong had staged a solo protest during UM’s 59th convocation, and he was said to have carried a placard bearing the words “Undur VC” (Step down VC) and “Tolak Rasis” (Reject Racist) and shouted “Ini tanah Malaysia” (This is Malaysian soil) onstage when receiving the scroll for his bachelor’s degree.

UM issued a press statement the next day criticising Wong’s actions, which it said was a breach of protocol and had allegedly tarnished the university’s name.

It also said then that it lodged a police report over the incident.

Following that and other police reports lodged against him over the protest, Wong was questioned by the police on October 16 for investigations under Section 504.

Wong previously told the media that his protest was an act of last resort after previous attempts to engage with the vice-chancellor’s office, and also criticised the vice-chancellor’s speech in the Malay Dignity Congress held the same month which had alleged racial elements as allegedly damaging to the university’s reputation.

Abdul Rahim had reportedly spoken about the decline in Malays’ political dominance and that Malay privileges were being questioned, among other things.

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