What is Minister Maszlee Malik's Official Position on Pakatan Harapan Politics in Malaysia Campuses
FEBRUARY 25, 2019
WHAT IS MINISTER MASZLEE MALIK’S OFFICIAL POSITION ON NON-PAKATAN HARAPAN POLITICS IN MALAYSIAN CAMPUSES?
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) decision to deny ex-prime minister Najib Razak’s official appearance at its main Bangi campus on February 22, 2019 is regrettable.
It’s suspected this is due to Najib’s party being in the opposition, presently. If it was a year ago, UKM would have rolled the red carpet for him.
This may be a good opportunity for Education Minister Maszlee Malik to clear the air, and state exactly what is permissible under this administration for Malaysian public universities; a) Can non-Pakatan Harapan politicians enter unhindered when invited by students to speak in campuses; and b) Can open discussions on national politics be conducted inside campuses by way of forums, debates and polling?
The answer can help various campus administrators navigate future invitations which are brought to their attention and inform the 1.4 million tertiary students in Malaysia about what political space is available to them in their own campuses.
KUASA observes many free speech advocates have stayed quiet about this development. In the past, when Pakatan politicians were barred by campuses under Barisan Nasional/Umno control, they were vehemently denounced by civil society.
Not so much today, not so much for non-Pakatan leaders.
But still, we wait for the minister’s reply.
Maszlee’s clarification may shed light on political openness in Malaysia Baharu.
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