UM Grad to Be Charged over “VC Resign” Convocation Protest

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Universiti Malaya (UM) graduate Wong Yan Ke will be charged over his protest against the vice-chancellor during his convocation last year.

The former student activist told Malaysiakini he received a call from the police informing he will be charged at the KL High Court tomorrow.

He is allegedly being charged under Section 504 of the Penal Code for insulting with the intent of provoking a breach of the peace.

The charge carries imprisonment for a term of up to two years, a fine or both upon conviction.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

“Since the police called me in once for questioning in October last year, there was no follow up on the case. Unexpectedly, they are pressing charges against me now, this is horrible,” he said when contacted.

In a later statement, the former University Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany) chairperson said the act was intended to “suppress dissidents and create white terror”.

When receiving his graduation scroll on stage in October last year, Wong, then an engineering student, yelled “Tolak rasis. Undur VC. Ini Tanah Malaysia. (Reject racists. VC step down. This is Malaysian land.)” while holding up a placard which listed several reasons why VC Abdul Rahim Hashim should resign.


Among the reasons cited by Wong in his protest was that Rahim allegedly promoted racism and hatred, infringed on academic freedom, served as a “political puppet” and failed to solve UM’s financial problems.

Part of his protest, he later claimed, was against Rahim’s alleged “racist” speech during the controversial Malay Dignity Congress on Oct 6.

In his speech, Rahim allegedly claimed the change in government after GE14 had eliminated Malay political dominance and asserted that Malay privileges were being questioned.

Rahim is also alleged to have warned others not to challenge the social contract.

The varsity condemned the move and lodged a police report, stating while it supported the principle of freedom of expression, the act disrespected the convocation ceremony and tarnished the good name of UM. – Malaysiakini