Monday, August 18, 2008

Students protest over ‘inadequate’ amendments to Act

The exact number of participants in this demonstrations is 200 University's students

SOME 100 university students gathered outside Parliament to protest against what they claimed were “inadequate” changes to the Universities and University Colleges Act (AUKU).

They were unhappy that, under the Bill, students would still be barred from joining any political party or unlawful organisation or take part in any activity outside campus.

Five of the students later came to the Parliament lobby and handed over a memorandum to Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Idris Haron, who promised to look into their complaints.

“I'll also invite students to sit in during Parliament sittings when the Bill is being debated so that they can see the entire process. I appreciate the efforts they have taken to look through the Bill,” he said after receiving the memorandum.

The Bill, which was tabled for first reading last month, will be debated during this meeting.

Gerakan Mansuhkan AUKU coordinator Zulfattah Ibrahim said the coalition was against the Act and it should be repealed in the interests of the undergraduates.

“Any attempt by the ministry to amend this Act is in vain and will not bring us any benefit. We reject the proposals because these are only cosmetic in nature,” he said.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the ministry would not tolerate any kind of racial abuse in schools, adding that the transfer of a teacher, accused of making derogatory remarks about Indian students, was only a temporary measure pending investigations.

“I also do not want the teacher to be falsely accused. I am monitoring the case carefully myself,” said Hishammuddin at the lobby, adding that he has appointed his deputy Dr Wee Ka Siong to lead the investigation.

He also confirmed meeting up with MIC's Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam and K. Devamany over the matter.

Two students from SMK Telok Panglima Garang had recently lodged police reports against the female teacher, alleging that she had made derogatory remarks about Indian students and called them unflattering names.

Angry parents and other members of the community had gathered outside the school to stage a protest against the teacher.

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