Farhana claimed Bukhairi’s treatment stemmed from authorities’ concern over increasing student awareness in the country. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Lawyer for a Universiti Malaya (UM) student who was remanded four days for allegedly refusing to co-operate in an impromptu police search, claimed today authorities are trying to smother growing student activism here. 

“The police are intimidated by student uprising in the country. This is revenge as they cannot accept that more and more students are rising up (against authorities),” lawyer Farhana Abdul Halim told reporters today here.

Last Friday, Bukhairi Sufian, 21, was approached by seven plainclothes policemen at the UM main entrance and asked to produce his identity card.

When told to produce the contents of his bag, Bukhairi insisted they frisk him in a brightly lit area “as it was dark and he could not identify if they were real policemen”.

The officers refused and a struggle ensued.

“It was dark and the seven officers were not in uniform. Of course my client had his doubts as to whether they were real policemen when they wanted to search his bag. All he asked was to go to a brightly lit area, but they refused,” Farhana said.

“The police should have been more fair and transparent. Instead, they asserted [their] authority. This is wrong and malicious. We cannot accept this as it is abuse of power,” she added.

Bukhairi was today charged under Section 186 of the Penal Code for refusing to co-operate with police and obstructing a police officer from performing his duties.

“We will fight this, because it is simply unfair,” Farhana said, adding that the mention was set for February 16.

“This cannot be accepted.”

By Lisa J. Ariffin
January 11, 2012