Ministry awaits police report on KL Sentral student protesters

The Higher Education Ministry is to secure a report from the police before contemplating action against the 15 tertiary students who staged a protest at KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Director-General of Higher Education Prof Dr Rujhan Mustafa said today.

He said the students, who had demonstrated against the Universities and University Colleges Act, had staged the protest outside their campuses and, as such, they are subject to a police investigation as they may have gathered without a permit.

Speaking to reporters at the closing of the Global Higher Education Forum, Dr Rujhan said it was needless for students unhappy with the law to stage any protest because the government is already considering amending Section 15 of the act.

Section 15 of the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 prohibits tertiary students from associating with any society, political party, trade union or any other organisation in the country or abroad except as provided for by the Federal Constitution or approved in writing by the vice-chancellor.

Meanwhile, the police in Kuala Lumpur have released on bail all the 15 students after recording their statements under Section 27 of the Police Act 1967.

The students, aged between 20 and 22, are believed to be members of the Movement for Academic Freedom (Bebas), were detained after they ignored a police directive to disperse.

They are from Universiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Selangor and Selangor International Islamic University College.

– Bernama