|Amendments to UUCA tabled - students can join political parties|
|Tuesday, 10 April 2012 08:39am|
©The Sun Daily (Used by permission)
by Hemananthani Sivanandam
KUALA LUMPUR (April 9, 2012): Amendments to Section 15 of the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA), which seek to allow students the right to become members of any political party, were tabled in Parliament today.
However, university students who hold posts in political parties will not be allowed to stand for election or hold any posts in students' society, organisations, bodies or groups in campus.
They can neither be involved in political parties within the campus. This is to maintain the neutrality in the campus, as stated according to the proposed amendments.
The bill of the amendments, tabled by Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, also forbid students to become a member of any unlawful societies, organisations, bodies or groups in or outside Malaysia.
Their involvement as members in any society, organisation, body or group that is not a political party, would be determined by the university board.
The bill also seek to introduce a new section to establish the Students’ Complaints Committee which shall have the power to conduct investigations or inquiry into any complaints made by a student.
After tabling the amendments, Khaled told reporters the committee would be a platform for students with problems but without an avenue to grouse their woes.
“This will be a medium for them to take their complaints to. We suggested that the formation of the committee be headed by the vice-chancellor, students' representatives and representatives from student alumnis to hear the grouses put forth,” he said.
Khaled added that the amendments fulfilled the promises of transformation announced last year by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak.
Asked what action will be taken if students were found misusing the UUCA, Khaled said that it was up to the respective universities.
“It won’t be a criminal penalty, it’s only (via) internal discipline taken by the universities. However, I believe that students are matured,” he said.
Asked who will monitor students who hold office in political parties but still decide to stand for election or to hold any posts in campus, Khaled said the onus was on the students to follow the act.
"Ignorance of law is not an excuse,” he said.
The second reading of the bill is expected to be done next week.
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