Umany Student Group Apologises to Agong, Retracts Facebook Statement

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A Universiti Malaya-based student group has apologised to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong over a statement questioning his powers in national affairs.

The Universiti Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany) said that after consulting with constitutional experts, it also withdrew its statement dated Oct 30 from its English and Chinese Facebook accounts.

“We affirm our adherence to the constitutional monarchy system in Malaysia and respect the role of Yang di-Pertuan Agong in the Constitution. We would like to apologise to the King and the public for our lack of thorough understanding of the Constitution,” Umany said in a statement on Thursday (Nov 12).

The group added that the statement was for academic discussion purpose and was never meant to be malicious or seditious.

“We wanted to express our academic opinion, nothing more than that. We know there will be consequences to comment on the king’s decree, so it was purely based on academic grounds,” Umany president Yap Wen Qing said.

Low Choon Chuan/Malaysiakini

“I do not understand why so many people tried to intimidate us after the statement was released. It was an academic opinion,” the 22-year-old Physics student added.

“As the Sedition Act and Communications and Multimedia Act are in fact archaic and draconian laws that trample on freedom of speech, we call upon the police to halt all investigations and possible prosecution under these Acts, and urge the government to repeal the draconian laws immediately in order to safeguard freedom of speech for every citizen,” the group said.

Umany also expressed gratitude to all parties who had expressed support and solidarity with them, adding that they would continue to advocate and defend democracy and freedom together with civil society for a better Malaysia.

Several Umany members were investigated under the Sedition Act and Communications and Multimedia Act over a Facebook post titled “Yang di-Pertuan Agong Should Not Intervene in National Affairs”.