EMPOWER: Withdraw the decision of one-semester suspension on student

Empower Press Statement
29 November 2007

Pusat Janadaya(Empower) urges the authorities of UPM to withdraw its decision made on November 22, to suspend a second year student, Lee Song Yong for one-semester. The student was charged with alledged non-cooperation with the UPM security guard.

On Aug 22, Lee was stopped by security guards at the university’s exit and was searched. Lee refused to allow his bag to be checked because there was no explanation forthcoming from the security guard. His student identification card and notebook was then confiscated by the security guards who were not in their uniform without his consent.

The suspension by the authorities of UPM is questionable as security guards have no jurisdiction in university to confiscate or check a student’s bag.

A security guard and his company are hired contractors and have specific designated tasks, i.e., to take care of the security of the premise. If such search is neccesary, there should be a written instruction from the authorities and the university authorities should be the one to search and can be assisted by security guards.

This case shows that the security guard had exceeded his designated powers and assumed policing powers which is not guaranteed under any University laws and regulations. It is also very unfortunate that the University authority did not take any appropriate action to address and correct the unfair treatment of the student.

Pusat Janadaya(Empower) , therefore urges the authorities of the UPM to withdraw the decision of suspension of Lee Song Yong immediately. Stern action should be taken against the security guard who has abused his power. Finally, there is a need for the Ministry of Higher Education to study and monitor cases of abuse of power in public unversities.

Ho Yock Lin
Protem Committee
(Please note existing address as follows)
Pusat Janadaya(Empower)
13 Lorong 4/48E, Seksyen 4, 46050, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: 03- 7770 1475 / Mobile : 019-3165333
www.empowermalaysia.org

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