Majlis Kepimpinan Utama GMUKM

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Provinsi Ungu [Versi Online]

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Universities and University Colleges Act 1971

The Universities and University Colleges Act (UCCA) was enacted in 1971 primarily to provide an administrative basis for the establishment of new universities. However, in 1975, the government introduced a range of amendments imposing stringent restrictions on students rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression. Many students and academic staffs have fall victim from this act over their legitimate political activities.

The government placed some restrictions on academic freedom, particularly the expression of unapproved political views, and enforced restrictions on teachers and students who expressed dissenting views. The government continued to require that all civil servants, university faculty, and students sign a pledge of loyalty to the king and the government. Opposition leaders and human rights activists claimed that this was intended to restrain political activity among civil servants, academics, and students.

Although faculty members sometimes were publicly critical of the government, there was clear self censorship among public university academics whose career advancement and funding depended on the government. Private institution academics practiced self censorship as well, fearing that the government might revoke the licenses of their institutions. The law also imposes limitations on student associations and on student and faculty political activity (see section 2.b.).

In sum, the government has long stated that students should be apolitical and used that assertion as a basis for denying political parties access to student forums. According to student leaders, students who signed antigovernment petitions sometimes were expelled or fined. The government enforced this policy selectively and did not refrain from spreading government views on political issues among students and lecturers.


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