Malaysiakini News

Muslim student group, DAP Youth hail unshackling of campus polls

Published:  |  Modified:

The Education Ministry's latest move to provide full autonomy for university student leaders has garnered praise from National Muslim Students Association (PKPIM) as well as DAP Youth.

"PKPIM welcomes this move from the Education Ministry to re-examine the handling of campus elections.

"This move shows the new government's commitment in realising the thorough reform agenda of the country, including in matters related to student leadership," said PKPIM president Muhammad Khair Sujud in a statement today.

He also believes this move will lead to more transparent national elections, as students can now play a bigger role as a check and balance against both the government and the opposition.

More students, he said, should utilise this opportunity, and he hoped the new government's open policy would lead to more quality student leadership.

'Brave step'

Similarly, DAP Youth chief Wong Kah Woh called the Education Ministry's decision a "brave step", which will return autonomy to university students and student activists.

"This decision from the Education Ministry is a new start, and it is like a light in the darkness.

"The grouses of students over the years have been heard.

“It also shows that the Education Ministry under the leadership of its minister Maszlee Malik has acknowledged the rights of students to freedom of speech and freedom of association, which had been oppressed in the past," Wong said in a separate statement today.

Wong said DAP Youth hopes this move will bring forth a new era, where more exchange of ideas and interaction between the Education Ministry and student leaders will take place.

However, he noted this freedom to choose student leaders is merely a first step to return full autonomy to students.

The government now has to ensure that there is no political intervention in campus matters.

Wong said DAP Youth will fully support the government's efforts to get rid of the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UCAA).

Yesterday, the Education Ministry said student representative councils (MPP) at all public universities will be given full freedom to choose their own leadership without involvement from the university administration, starting this year.

Therefore, said the ministry, the method of implementing campus elections will be reviewed.

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