11 July 2019
Press statement by MCA Government Affairs Monitoring Committee (GMC)
Objection against silencing academicians!
7 academicians from MCA GMC press for freedom of speech
Datuk A Kadir Jasin, Media and Communications adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office, recently urged Minister of Education Dr Maszlee Malik to respond to an article by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) academic Abdul Muein Abadi which claimed that the Pakatan Harapan government has sold RM20 billion in assets. Subsequently, the UKM political science lecturer claimed that he was instructed by the institution to stop writing about sensitive political issues. Witnessing this, 7 academics from the MCA Government Affairs Monitoring Committee (GMC) express their concern and dissatisfaction over the transpiring events.
Dr Wong Kok Fye: The autonomy and freedom of academicians should be safeguarded. University educators must possess sufficient freedom of speech, freedom to conduct academic research, study and analyses, to obtain new knowledge; Otherwise, our academic progress will become stunted. The Pakatan government’s approach to censure the university’s management through political pressure, will surely jeopardise the nation’s future development.
Dr Tee Ching Seng: Where is the freedom of speech? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Article 19 underlines freedom of opinion and expression as a basic human right, which is also recognised by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The UDHR Article 19 states that, this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers, such as verbal, written, printed, art.
Dr. Au Tai Yiat: I am greatly disturbed to hear about UKM academic Abdul Muein being barred by the university from writing political articles. Does this imply that Malaysia’s level of basic human rights is backsliding?
Dr. Chong Jin Hui: The government must not repeat the White Terror incident, and instead concede to the people’s right over freedom of expression and opinion. This incident is also a classic example of politics interfering with the academic world, a tactic to deter the people from expressing themselves and speaking out against the government.
Dr. Lee Weng Chang: The government must allow academicians to freely and publicly express their opinions. As such, the government should seek the views of each social stratum and accept constructive feedbacks.
Dr. Chee Pao Kam: This kind of incident was unheard-of during BN’s era, yet it has happened during Pakatan’s time. The way Pakatan disrupts academic freedom is simply disgraceful.
Dr. Choo Kok Wah: We stand behind Abdul Muein’s right to defending his freedom of speech. Hence, we implore that Abdul Muein will continue speaking against the PH government’s faults in an effort of check and balance.
DR WONG KOK FYE
DR TEE CHING SENG
DR AU TAI YIAT
DR CHONG JIN HUI
DR LEE WENG CHANG
DR CHEE PAO KAM
DR CHOO KOK WAH
MCA Government Affairs Monitoring Committee