Four Universiti Malaya students, including Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof, filed an originating summons in the Kuala Lumpur High Court today, seeking an order that the tertiary institution's disciplinary action against them is unconstitutional.
Anis Syafiqah and Mohamad Luqman Nul Haqim Zul Razali are final year students who have been suspended by UM’s disciplinary board for the next semester for their participation in the “Tangkap MO1” rally last August.
Besides the two, the other student suspended is Muhamad Luqman Hakim Mohd Fazli, while Suhail Wan Azahar was fined.
They named UM, the higher education minister and the government as defendants in the suit to have the disciplinary proceedings against them to be declared unlawful.
They are also seeking a declaration that Section 15(3) (b) of the University and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA) and Regulations 3 and 13 of Kaedah-Kaedah Universiti Malaya (Tatatertib Pelajar-Pelajar) (UM Discipline of Students Regulations 1999), which bars students from taking part in a peaceful demonstration, violate their rights to freedom of speech and expression and to assemble peacefully.
Alternatively, they sought a declaration that Section 15 (3) (b) of the UUCA and the two regulations contravene Article 10 (1) (a) and (b) of the Federal Constitution, on regulating their conduct in tertiary institutions outside the campus.
In addition, they are also seeking a declaration that the disciplinary proceedings against them are unlawful.
The application was filed by the law firm of M/s Foo Woei & Co.
One of the lawyers, Marcus Tan, said they want the court to interpret the law on the regulations as being unconstitutional, and consequentially issue an order to declare the disciplinary proceeding as unlawful.
No reply to memo students sent
Anis Syafiqah, who is a student in the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, said they decided to file the originating summons against UM after there was no reply to the memorandum they had sent to seek the cancellation of their punishment.
“This originating summons is the second, after Asheeq Ali had also filed an action against a disciplinary action against him by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
“The action was taken after we felt the university tribunal failed to give us justice. This action is a significant action to challenge the UM regulations in the spirit that these go against the Federal Constitution,” she said.
Anis Syafiqah said the originating summons was proof that there is a law higher than the UUCA, namely the Federal Constitution, and that university students should not be afraid in pressuring those who discriminate against students and Malaysians.
Their action, she said, was also a signal that university students were prepared to build Malaysia and were not afraid by threats from university administrators in using the UUCA to punish vocal students critical on a certain national issues.
Anis Syafiqah, Mohamad Luqman Nul Haqim, Muhamad Luqman Hakim were suspended for one semester, while Suhail was fined RM400.- Mkini