Lawyers For Liberty condemns Kedah Chief Minister Azizan Abdul Razak’s vehement defence of the use of the oppressive Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA) against five University College Insaniah (KUIN) students for taking part in a demonstration in the university.

The use of the UUCA against the five students is a clear breach of Article 10 of the Federal Constitution which guarantees freedom of speech and peaceful assembly and runs contrary  to Pakatan Rakyat’s reform agenda which includes the abolition of all oppressive laws including the UUCA.

It is simplistic and disingenuous of the Kedah Chief Minister to state that the law is the law and therefore it must be obeyed as this is similar to UMNO/BN’s justification for the continued use of ISA, EO, Sedition Act and other oppressive laws.

We would like to remind the Kedah Chief Minster that the UUCA was deliberately amended in 1975 to restrict the student movement in political activities following the infamous Baling Demonstration which witnessed 30,000 people including students standing up for the poor farmers in Kedah, demanding  fair rubber prices and better living conditions.

We demand the Kedah Chief Minister and KUIN to immediately lift the suspension of the five students and to impose a moratorium on the further use of the UUCA in order to reflect the Kedah government’s serious commitment to the policies of Pakatan Rakyat.

Lawyers For Liberty

19 January 2012