Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Banning students will create racial polarisation: Idris


Banning students from active politics will create racial, ideological and religious polarisation among the multi-ethnic society. Higher Education Deputy Minister Datuk Idris Haron said it would, also create an environment not conducive for university students to study and learn. “The introduction of the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (AUKU) had prevented students from being influenced by political parties,” he said in reply to a question by Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) on whether students would be allowed freedom to indulge in politics like Malaysian students overseas. Idris said the ban on politics did not mean that students were deprived from universities had offered Political Science courses and practised democracy via campus elections. “It is not true that our students are banned from politics. We had been holding campus elections for a long time.” He added the Ministry had undergone a long process to formulate the Act and would be amending 69 of the 119 Articles or about 60 per cent. It also studied a report and proposal by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) which feared that the amendments would stifle efforts to produce young political leaders. Idris said the amendments stressed on three main aspects; university administration, welfare and rights of, university employees and the rights of university students. “The Ministry is confident that the amendments proposed will put Malaysia on the right track towards becoming an excellence centre for higher education at regional and international level,” he added. - Bernama