Student groups plan protest rally over suspension of UKM activist


Source: Free Malaysia Today

Kesatuan spokesperson Anis Syafiqah Yusof says the suspension will make it impossible for final-year law student to sit his exam.

Kesatuan spokesperson Anis Syafiqah Yusof (third from left) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia student activist Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi (fourth from left) at a joint press conference. Image from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: A coalition of student groups, called Kesatuan, has threatened to hold a protest rally against Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) over its decision to reinstate a suspension order on final-year law student Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi.

Kesatuan spokesperson Anis Syafiqah Yusof gave UKM a week to respond and explain why the suspension has been reinstated.

She said the student groups will hold the rally outside UKM.

On November 2016, Asheeq was suspended for one semester by UKM and fined RM200 for his involvement in the #TangkapMO1 rally.

Asheeq, at that time, had argued that he was never charged in court for any offences.

The rally was organised by a coalition of students and youth groups calling for the arrest of the person named “MO1” in the United States’ Department of Justice’s civil suit related to state investment fund 1MDB.

“MO1” is the acronym used in the DoJ’s suit for Malaysian Official Number 1.

“First, Asheeq was suspended in November 2016 for three weeks and then called back to study.

“Now, he has been notified of a further suspension that will take effect from today (March 14) until April.

“This reinstated suspension came about after he exhausted his final legal challenge in the Court of Appeal on Feb 22,” said Anis.

Asheeq only has three more months to complete his law degree, said Anis.

The one-month suspension will affect his attendance and will make it impossible for him to sit for his examination in June.

“If he is unable to sit for it, he will have to extend his studies by another year.

“We at Kesatuan want to remind the authorities that this shows how university students are being deprived of their fundamental human rights.

“This action taken by the university portrays universities as being controlled and serving as a puppet of the government.

“Universities are supposed to be platforms to cultivate young leaders like Asheeq and not to penalise him for speaking out against the government.

“We urge the university to withdraw the action against him and we give the university seven days do so.

“And if they fail to respond, we will mobilise a protest outside UKM as soon as possible to call for the academics to wake up and voice out for the sake of students’ rights,” added Anis.

She added that students are not supposed to be oppressed like this for voicing out their grievances.

“Freedom of assembly is also a basic right of any student,” she said.

Apart from Asheeq, four Universiti Malaya (UM) students – Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof, Muhammad Luqman Nul Haqim Zul Razali, Suhail Wan Azahar and Muhammad Luqman Hakim Mohd Fazli – had also filed a suit to challenge the constitutionality of the university’s subsidiary legislation.

This came about after they were also found guilty of joining the #TangkapMO1 rally.


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