The Malay Mail Online By Ida Lim September 3, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 Angered by the sedition prosecution of their vocal law lecturer Dr Azmi Sharom, a group of University of Malaya (UM) scholars will lead a rally here next Wednesday to reclaim fully their academic freedom.
Student leader Vince Tan said the charge against Azmi over the latters comments on the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis, is an attack on institutions of higher learning, and voiced concern at the growing repression of intellectual thinking.
We feel there is an attack on academic freedom. We have come to a level that is beyond acceptable, because academic freedom in UM and Malaysia has gone so low. (An) academic can be charged for just stating an opinion in the field of his study.
So we are coming out with a protest together with academics in UM, September 10, 1pm to 2pm, the secretary-general of student rights group Progressive University of Malaya told Malay Mail Online when met at the court complex here yesterday.
The protest will be held at the universitys main bus stop, which is also the old Speakers Corner, the fourth-year law student said.
Tan said the rally was also to show the university student bodys support for Azmi and as a platform to press the repeal of the Sedition Act 1948.
Fahmi Zainol, University of Malaya Students Representative Council (MPPUM) president, similarly said: We demand that the universitys values, academic freedom be returned.
According to Fahmi, the organisations involved in this rally include the UM Academic Staff Association, MPPUM, the student group Pro-Mahasiswa University Malaya and the Persatuan Mahasiswa Islam Universiti Malaya (PMIUM).
Azmi was charged yesterday, under Section 4(1)(b) and 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act, for uttering and publishing an allegedly seditious claim that the events during the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis was legally wrong