Thursday July 17, 2008
Source from: The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Members of Parliament should read and study the proposed amendment to the University College and Colleges Act carefully to see if the Bill really benefits students.
Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR – Lembah Pantai) said as the Bill was only tabled for first reading in Parliament on Wednesday, all MPs, including those from the Barisan Nasional coalition, should take their time to study it.
“Many aspects of the Bill are still unclear. “However, we hope all MPs will prepare themselves to debate on the Bill as it is important that we fulfill the hopes and aspirations of university students,” she told reporters after meeting with members of the Gerakan Mansuhkan AUKU at the Parliament lobby here on Thursday.
The movement’s coordinator Ridzuan Mohammad said its members had yet to fully understand the implications of the proposed amendment.
“We are particularly concerned over one of the clauses that cites that students cannot join an unlawful organisation, under which the minister has the power to determine which body is unlawful,” he said.
Ridzuan said the movement had also met with a group of backbenchers led by Backbenchers Club chairman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN – Bintulu), which also included Razali Ibrahim (BN – Muar) and Liang Teck Meng (BN – Simpang Renggam).
“They told us to study the Bill carefully and to tell them which parts we don’t agree with and they promised to speak up for us,” he said.
Among others, the Bill states that university students will only face disciplinary action from their university, and not criminal charges, if they are caught joining a political party or unlawful organisation under amendments to the University and University Colleges (Amendment) Bill.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin had said that under the Bill, students would still be barred from joining any political party or unlawful organisation or take part in any of their activities outside campus.
The Bill would be debated in the next meeting in August.