Sunday, February 20, 2011

No action against UPM students

PETALING JAYA: No action will be taken against a group of Universiti Putra Malaysia students who carried a cardboard “coffin” and a stuffed “corpse” when protesting against the alleged involvement of political parties in campus elections.
Chanting “student power”, the pro-Mahasiswa students handed over a memorandum to the vice-chancellor on Friday complaining that their rival, the pro-establishment Aspirasi group, had allegedly met with representatives of political parties on the election.
UPM deputy vice-chancellor (student affairs and alumni) Prof Dr Mohd Fauzi Ramlan said although the allegation was unsubstantiated, no action would be taken against the students as they were merely expressing themselves.
Learning curve: Pro-Mahasiswa students holding a demonstration before the campus election tomorrow
“Let them express themselves so long as it is within the limits and they do not destroy campus property.
“Their actions reflect the way they think. Sending a memorandum is a way for them to exercise their rights,” he said.
He added that political party representatives were not allowed to meet students within the campus grounds without permission from the Higher Education Minister.
The university, he said, could not stop students from meeting with political parties outside campus grounds.
Prof Dr Mohd Fauzi also said the campus election which starts tomorrow would be held in a transparent manner.
“Several committees have been set up to ensure that procedures are followed and the election is as transparent as possible.
“There will be no hanky-panky. I hope outsiders will respect the students’ voting rights,” he said, adding that candidates should represent themselves as UPM students and not be drawn into camps.
On Friday, pro-Mahasiswa group leader Syed Syafiq Syed Hashim, 23, claimed they had evidence that a political party had paid RM59,000 to “sponsor” candidates in public tertiary institutions nationwide. - theStarOnline

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