Amendment of Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA)
Malaysia Youth and Students Democratic Movement (DEMA) welcome the move by Minister of Higher Education, Mohamed Khaled Nordin to review the restrictive Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA). We see this as a positive move to student activism in higher institutions of learning.
The UUCA was first enacted in 1971 to curb the growing student movement and was amended in 1975. On 8/5/2008, Minister at Prime Minister Department, Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz said that the act was outdated and needs to be reviewed. Mohamed Khaled Nordin said that the proposals would be handed over to the AG’s Chambers by tomorrow. He also hoped that the proposed amendments can be debated at the next Parliament seating scheduled for August.
DEMA urge the Minister of Higher Education to specify the nature of the amendments and not until the bill is tabled for debate. This is to ensure that any amendment which allows violation of fundamental human rights is prohibited. We think that before the bill is being review, the ministry can get some feedback from the youth, student association and also the public. We further urge the ministry to include more students association in the amendments since the act is mainly related to student development.
We also hope that Mohamed Khaled Nordin shows his sincerity in this amendment since former Minister of Higher Education also promises to review the act. In fact, there were three former Ministers of Higher Education who have suggested to amend the act but ended up with nothing. DEMA also hope that Mohamed Khaled Nordin can provide a time frame for this amendment.
However, DEMA strongly urge that the Minister of Higher Education to abolish the UUCA since the main purpose of this act is used to curb student activism. The abolishment of UUCA will create an environment where students and lecturers are free to express their views and opinions and it is a necessary step towards establishing a world class higher education.
DEMA Secretary of Administration,