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Media statement (3) by Lau Weng San in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 13th August 2010:

Is Federal Government afraid of "Mahasiswa" when it continues to disallow university students active in political parties?

I find that the Federal Cabinet's decision to disallow "Mahasiswa" (university students) from being active in partisan politics and its reason that university students are still allowed to involve in political parties if they obtain permissions from their vice-chancellors under Section 15 of the 1971 Universities and University Colleges Act (AUKU) is too shallow and totally unacceptable!

When BN youth leaders support the move to allow university students active in political parties, I was hoping that there could be some chances for the Federal Cabinet to table an amendment to AUKU, particularly to amend Section 15 of the Act which directly prohibits university students from being active in partisan politics. However, all hopes diminished when the Cabinet maintained the policy during the last Cabinet meeting.

There is no need for me to reiterate my reason on why university students should be given the rights as it has been well explained in the public domain for the past decade since Reformasi.

What I wish to question is when the Federal Government allows school teachers to be active in political parties, why the same hypocrite government refuses to grant the same right to university students? Is the BN-controlled Federal Government trying to slowly turn this nation into a communist state?

I was not a member of any political parties during my student days in University of Malaya (UM), however, I participated in a lot of activities organized by political parties inside and outside campus at the hike of Reformasi. I even secretly invited politicians to give talks in the campus and was one of the leaders in organizing several gatherings inside the campus when I studied in UM from 1999 to 2002.

Am I going to be charged by the Ministry of Higher Education for breaching Section 15 of AUKU when not only me, but others who are now still active in politics, also participated and organized activities which are largely seen as related to opposition political parties inside and outside the campus of UM from 1999 to 2002, without any consent from the Vice-Chancellor?

If the Cabinet is serious about disallowing university students from participating in politics, then they should enforce the law and prosecute the offenders. Else they are just a joke of themselves when they can't enforce the law they created. If so, why do they still disallow university students from being active in politics? Is Federal Government still very much afraid of "Mahasiswa"? Why?

* Lau Weng San, DAP Selangor Secretary & SA for Kampung Tunku



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