Wednesday, September 10, 2014

They risked all to come out against the Sedition Act?

They risked it all for justice and human rights. They risked it all to uphold the cause of justice without fear and Cavour. The students involved risked expulsion from the University, and disciplinary proceedings. The lecturers and academic staff risked termination, non-renewal of contracts, future discrimination when it comes to promotion, etc. They all risked the possibility of arrest, detention, criminal charges and cases,...

BUT, despite all the risks faced by themselves and their families, they came out to call for the Sedition Act to be abolished...

There were some politicians there, and as usual they seem to have stolen some of the limelight from people who organized and came out to express themselves despite all the risks...

What is this government of us want? For all of us just LISTEN...LISTEN... agree and follow what they say - the question now is with Malaysians, do we defend our right to be able to 'criticize' or have a different opinion from the government, the right to freedom of expression and opinions, the right to practice true democracy...



Hundreds of UM students march for law lecturer


Hundreds of Universiti Malaya students, sporting blue ribbons, staged a march in campus in solidarity with law lecturer Azmi Sharom, who has been charged with sedition.

The protesters, which included five DAP MPs, also demanded that the Sedition Act be abolished. Azmi (right, addressing the crowd) was also present.

Led by the UM student union president, Fahmi Ismail, the protesters marched for about 1km from the law faculty.

Meanwhile, a group of students in Penang’s Universiti Sains Malaysia also staged a similar march.

Speaking to reporters later, Azmi said he is proud of the students for coming out in large numbers to voice their concern.

"Freedom of speech is an issue close to the students' hearts,” he said.

He said he does not know if students will face disciplinary action following the demonstration, but is prepared to defend them if any are hauled up by the UM administration.

Students are not sheep

In his speech later, Azmi expressed gratitude to Universiti Malaya Academic Staff Union (PKAUM) and the university's students union for organising the demonstration.

"(But) my biggest thank you is to the students of UM," said the academician, who has 24 years of teaching experience under his belt.

Commenting on Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who urged students not to skip class for Azmi’s sake, he joked that this was probably because Khairy was never absent from class as a student.

"He doesn't understand that all of you here are not pro-Azmi, rather, you prioritise human rights and freedom of speech.

"We will show the country that the students are not like sheep, that they know about important issues.

"This is about freedom of expression, this is not just about freeing Azmi Sharom," he added.

He also urged students to seek freedom for preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussin who was charged with sedition this morning.

"We must ask for the freedom of Wan Ji, Safwan Anang, the late Karpal Singh, Adam Adli, Tian Chua, Rafizi Ramli, N Surendran, Teresa Kok, Susan Loone as well as the president of Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma).

"This is the difference between us and those who defend the Sedition Act.

"It is not good for him (Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman) as well. Although I don't agree with what he says, we must defend his rights to speak,” he said, referring to all caught in the sedition dragnet.

'No intimidation'

Meanwhile, Economics and Administration Faculty lecturer Terence Gomez said that this is the first time the student and academic staff union has come together for a cause, since he started teaching in UM in 1993.

Commenting on the spate of arrests, he said academics will not be able to publish controversial articles should it continue.

"We won't accept the kind of intimidation we are being subjected to. I say, stop this nonsense now."

The protest ended at 2pm, after speeches by various students and academics, with protestors singing the national anthem.

Students participating in the student union’s strike will also skip class until 4.30pm today, to attend a separate lecture on campus on issue.

Also present at the demonstration were DAP MPs Gobind Singh Deo (Puchong), Lim Lip Eng (Segambut) and Teresa Kok (Seputeh). - Malaysiakini, 10/9/2014,

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