GEORGE TOWN, Nov 17 – Monash University Malaysia and Curtin University Sarawak have joined ranks with public universities in warning students not to take part in illegal gatherings. Students from both universities informed the press that they have received notification via email over the last 2 days.
The notification indicated that “students were not advised to take part in illegal activities and gatherings which is contriving to the Malaysian law”. Apparently, the Registrar, Dr. Susheela Nair of Monash University said “if any student found to have participated in such gatherings or demonstrations or arrested by Police for doing so, they will be subjected to the disciplinary action”
While warning from public universities which is directly controlled by the ruling government is common, what was surprising is the fact that these two institutions are threatening to take action against the students who might participate. The warning was issued for students not to take part in Bersih 5 gathering which is scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur and East Malaysia on November 19, 2016.
While it was understandable that the foreign students should not involve, the local students who are paying full fees should not be refrained or prevented from participating in Bersih 5. Both Monash and Curtin are some leading private universities in Malaysia. Taking part in agitation, protest and demonstration done in a peaceful manner should be allowed.
Bersih 5 gathering is about improving the political system with specific relation to the practice of democracy, accountability and justice. It is a terrible shame if these private universities are now functioning at the behest of the Malaysian Government. If this is the way these universities are behaving and intimidating students, Malaysians should think twice on sending their students there. Sadly they take money from students but end up intimidating them.