Thursday, December 08, 2011

Dato' Saifuddin Abdullah: Abolishing Universities and University Colleges Act (AUKU) would be messy

Deputy Minister of Higher Education Dato' Saifuddin Abdullah said abolishing AUKU (Universities and University Colleges Act 1971) would be messy as it would not be like abolishing the ISA.

"We should make full use of the fact that the government is willing to amend the act," he said during the Teh Tarik Session forum here this evening.

He also said the government’s move to amend the act is a radical change as it shows that the government is accepting that undergraduates should be given the right to join political parties. However, he feels that other sections should be amended besides Section 15 of the act.

"If we were to amend Section 15 of AUKU then we must also amend the other related sections as well," he added.

The Deputy Minister also announced that he supports the automatic voter signup and the idea to reduce voting age. Saifuddin was one the two speakers of the Malaysian Digest's 9th Teh Tarik Session titled 'Abolishing AUKU: A Step Towards Political Maturity' held at Killiney Kopitiam, Sooka Sentral.

The other speaker was Kuala Selangor MP and PAS Central Committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad. In his speech Dr Dzul stated the main reason in which the act was created was to restrict and restrain students from expressing themselves politically.

"We have seen the kind of graduates that have come out (from local universities) during the implementation of AUKU. This act (AUKU) must be repealed immediately and we don't need another one," he said.

The moderator for the session was political activist Hishamuddin Rais who was also one of the most active student activists in the 60s and 70s. Among the guests who had turned up to the event were blogger Dato' Din Merican and writer Kee Thuan Chye.


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