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Monday, October 31, 2011

'Great day for democracy' in UUCA ruling

A Court of Appeal judge has won praise as “the future of our constitution” for handing down a ruling declaring Section 15(5) of the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) to be unconstitutional.

azlanConstitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari’s (left)comments on Justice Hishammudin Yunus included the remark that the ruling has provided a "great day for democracy and constitutionalism".

The 2-1 ruling delivered this morning voids Section 15(5) which allows tertiary institutions to punish students for participating in politics.

Aziz, who is attached to University Islam Antarabangsa, warned however the joy over the ruling could be short-lived.

"The fact remains that the good decision might be overturned by the Federal Court, the highest court of the land," he explained.

Describing the legal process as tedious, time consuming and expensive, he said that best way to rid of undemocratic laws is to elect a government with the political will to do it.

"Doing it through the political process is obviously faster and cheaper. (We should not) forget the Court of Appeal decision only deals with Section 15. To me the entire law should go; universities do not need condescending laws any more."

Aziz added that the government has spent too much time and money on amending the UUCA when it can be "thrown out of the window".

The judgement was delivered in the case of four Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia students who had been found to be involved in the Hulu Selangor by-election campaign.

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