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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Nazri insists UUCA still valid








K
UALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — The controversial Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) still stands despite a court ruling that one of its sections was in breach of the Federal Constitution, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said today.
The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department told Parliament today that “the Act is still an Act.”
The de facto law minister said the law, which bars students from political activities, remained intact as the Court of Appeal decision was “only the opinion of the court.”
“It is now up to the Attorney-General to decide whether to appeal the decision. Until the matter is finalised, we can’t say anything,” the Padang Rengas MP said.

In a majority 2-1 judgment, a three-man panel of judges ruled on Monday that Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) breached Article 10 of the country’s highest law when it disciplined four students involved in a political campaign last year under Section 15(5)(a) of the UUCA.
“Effectively, they can indulge in political activities,” lawyer Ashok Kandiah, who represented the UKM four, told The Malaysian Insider when contacted on Monday.
However, it is unclear whether the judgment allows all students in higher education centres to take part in political activities.
Section 15(5)(a) of the UUCA states: “No student of the University and no organisation, body or group of students of the University which is established by, under or in accordance with the Constitution, shall express or do anything which may reasonably be construed as expressing support for or sympathy with or opposition to any political party, whether in or outside Malaysia”.
The four students — Muhammad Hilman Idham, Woon King Chai, Muhammad Ismail Aminuddin and Azlin Shafina Mohamad Adza — were found campaigning for a political party during the Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election in April 2010.
Nazri added today that “lawmakers have made the law, so under the principle of separation of powers, it still stands.”
Political parties from both sides of the divide had welcomed the court decision, stating that student politics must be allowed in a healthy democracy.



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