English World

‘Stay away from illegal demos’

KUALA LUMPUR: STAGING demonstrations which breach the laws of the country is not the proper way to learn about politics.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said university students, like everyone else, must observe the law.

“No one should participate in activities that would jeopardise the country’s peace and harmony,” he said when commenting on a demonstration organised by various university students at the Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) campus.

He said while he supported the move to amend the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) to allow the students to participate in politics, he felt that demonstrating was not a valid way to learn about the subject matter.

On allegations that police were heavy-handed in their approach to contain the demonstration, Khaled urged students to refrain from making ill-informed judgments.

On disciplinary action against students who participated in yesterday’s demonstration, Khaled said it was up to the police and the respective universities.

Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar, when contacted, said police were acting within their jurisdiction in detaining 70 students who tried to gain entry to the campus.

He said the police light strike unit had shielded the 20 female students while 50 male students scattered after trying to avoid being arrested.

“The police had nothing to do with the damage to a nearby clinic. The students shattered the glass door in their bid to enter the premises.

“We are acting based on our training and we did not resort to violence,” he said.

Meanwhile, Perak police chief Datuk Shukri Dahalan said 14 students were arrested for refusing to disperse after repeated warnings and two more were detained when they turned up at the Tanjung Malim police station to demand the release of their friends.

“They raised their voices in the station and refused to back down when advised by police. They were subsequently arrested,” he said at the Tanjung Malim district police headquarters in Slim River, near here, yesterday.

He said a female student was later detained at 3.30am for her alleged key role in organising the midnight gathering.

Those arrested were from UPSI, the International Islamic University, Universiti Selangor and the Management and Science University. Additional reporting by Fahirul N Ramli and Kalaavani Karupiah

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