The decision by University Malaya in refusing to allow Dato Ambiga Sreenevasan to speak at the Law Faculty’s Law Career Convention on Public Interest Litigation is a clear violation of the students’ rights and a contravention of a universal human right to freedom of speech and expression.
PROHAM calls on the University to reconsider their decision and to allow Dato Ambiga Sreenevasan to address the law students on Public Interest Litigation. Ambiga herself had personally appeared as counsel in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Federal Court on issues concerning Public Interest. Hence her valuable experience is an asset for her to share with the law students. In the circumstances, the decision by the University in refusing her to address the law students is puzzling. Her ability to impart knowledge should be a far better consideration than her presumed political inclination.
PROHAM also calls on the University to allow space for the students in organising their activities and to grant autonomy to the student body and faculties.
Issued on behalf of Proham by Datuk Kuthubul Zaman (Proham Chairman)
April 8, 2014
Students decry UM's bar on lecture by AmbigaApril 7, 2014 Mkini
Students from Malaysia's oldest university today submitted a memorandum to parliamentarians over what they believe to be academic interference in Universiti Malaya (UM).
This followed UM's refusal to allow veteran lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan to speak at the Law Faculty's Law Career Convention.
Ambiga, a former Bar Council president, was to speak on public interest litigation.
UM allegedly allowed the Law Society to invite Ambiga if a "pro-government" speaker was also invited but retracted this approval at the last minute on Mar 27.
According to student representative Richtyne Yusuf, this was the second cancellation, the other being a briefing by PKR-linked legal aid NGO, Lawyers for Liberty.
The briefing was on the PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy trial.
Richtyne said UM practiced double standards as the faculty was allowed to host former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, without the need for the society to call another person to balance out his views.
He also said this was a contravention of universal human rights on freedom of expression and Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.
In the memorandum, received by PKR's Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tsin (right), the students demanded the following:
- No interference by university in student organisation activities;
- No double standard by university in approving student activities;
- Liberalisation of bureaucracy on student activities;
- For the university to focus on quality of education instead of policing student activities;
- Automony to the student body and faculties; and
- No withdrawal for activities already approved.