Saifuddin to let police probe PWTC incident

Deputy Higher Education Minister Saifuddin Abdullah will leave it to the police to investigate the case of students who made a symbolic gesture of lowering a flag bearing the picture of Prime Minister Najib Razak at the grounds of the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) on Saturday.

He said the ministry would not be taking any action on them as the incident happened outside the campus.

“Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) and Gerakan Menuntut Kebebasan Akademik (Bebas) should apologise for their action as it was an abominable act,” he told a press conference at Parliament lobby, yesterday.

On Dec 17, Saifuddin had received a memorandum from Bebas chairman, Muhd Safwan [email protected] which among others, demanded the repeal of Universities and University Colleges Act (AUKU).

Before that, Muhd Safwan with about 200 university students representing Bebas went to the office of Human Rights Commission Malaysia (Suhakam) to hand over a memorandum to Suhakam Commissioner Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah.

They then proceed to PWTC to meet Saifuddin to hand over the same memorandum.

After meeting with Saifuddin, the students lowered the flag bearing the picture of Najib and replaced it with the SMM and Bebas flag, however, they hoisting the flag again after being reprimanded by the PWTC security guards.

Saifuddin said he decided to meet SMM and Bebas members after getting information that they were marching to PWTC accompanied by police personnel.

He said the ministry does not prevent the freedom of expression among university students but their action was regrettable and hoped that they would quickly apologise to the prime minister, who is also Umno president.

Meanwhile, when asked on the first session of roundtable discussion on AUKU, Saifuddin said it went well and would continue next year as university students were now sitting for examination.

– Bernama