Forcing a Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) lecturer to resign because he took a group of students to DAP headquarters is against academic freedom, said Lim Lip Eng.
The Kepong MP said in a statement that academic freedom, especially at the higher education level, is important to give the students exposure to the various political narratives in Malaysia.
“Rumours say that there is a UiTM lecturer who has been forced to resign because he took a group of students to visit the DAP headquarters in 2019. This action is deeply regretted because it violates the right to academic freedom that should exist in higher education institutions.
“Academic freedom should be fought for to develop the minds of students as well as give them exposure to the political narratives that exist in Malaysia.
“The act of forcing the lecturer to resign because of a visit to the opposition party office only shows that the institution is still in the old mindset and cannot accept political differences,” he said.
News portal Malaysiakini reported that the lecturer, Che Hamdan Che Mohd Razali had allegedly been “pressured” to resign as Raub UiTM deputy rector on December 28, 2020.
One of Che Hamdan’s students defended the academic saying the trip was part of their class on Malaysian politics, and that it was the political science students themselves who chose to visit DAP.
Lim asked if UiTM would act against the lecturer or the students if they visited MCA head office instead.
He added that DAP is a legal political entity that is approved by the Registrar of Societies with 55 years of history in Malaysia’s political scene.
“DAP is a political party that is approved and allowed to carry out political activities under the regulation of the Registrar of Societies.
“Representatives from this party have also been part of the government. Most of them held important positions in the government.
“The question that should be asked here is whether the university will do the same if the students are allowed to visit the headquarters of the MCA, a political party whose members are 100% Chinese.
“It is hoped that the lecturer will not be subjected to any action and together we will strengthen academic freedom in Malaysia,” he said. – TMI