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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 14. 1964.

Malaysia Criticised by NZUSA

Malaysia Criticised by NZUSA

NZUSA has Protested Against the Violation of Academic Freedom in Malaysia.

THE resolution, "That NZUSA supports the Malaysian students in their struggle against the new amendment to the Malaysian Internal Security Act which makes necessary 'suitability certificates' for entrants to higher education establishments, and Instructs the executive to communicate this resolution to the New Zealand and Malaysian Governments and to the Student Unions in the area" was passed by NZUSA Winter Council at its final session on Sunday, August 16 in Auckland.

Among the documentation for this remit were the resolutions of the University of Malaya:
  • The Act is a forthright violation of the fundamental liberties—rights in respect of education guaranteed in the Constitution of Malaysia.
  • The Act violates the autonomy of the University which it is vested with under Statute passed by the Malaysian Parliament.
  • The Act will also nullify academic freedom hitherto enjoyed by institutions of higher learning.

In a letter that was recently received at NZUSA, the writer, a Malaysian student, stated that Malaysian students were not apathetic over the issue. "We take pride in telling you that two public meetings of professional bodies, trade unions and other pressure groups organised for the purpose of protesting against the Bill were instigated by us, although we did not take a direct role."

The writer further said, "I personally feel that our Universities in Malaysia are no universities at all. Academic freedom and university autonomy have been trampled on and whatever pretensions our universities may have to the status of a true university are sheer vanity. Our universities are now Instruments of Government policy and the graduates produced will be doclle bureaucrats, whose dynamism and capacity for leadership and far-sighted thinking have been sapped by fear and suppression."

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