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Police summon Chin Huat’s former students


Chin Huat

Corrected on 3 June 2009 at 7pm

PETALING JAYA, 3 June 2009: Two (corrected) former students who participated in a show of support for Wong Chin Huat, following his arrest for allegedly seditious comments, have been served with police notices.

“We feel that further interrogation is extremely peculiar and completely unnecessary as we had cooperated fully with the police and complied with the conditions which were agreed upon at that time,” said Students of Chin-Huat Against Repression (SCAR) in an e-mailed statement today.

On 7 May 2009, SCAR organised a peaceful gathering in front of Monash University’s Sunway Campus, which drew heavy police presence. The gathering was intended to show support for Wong, a political scientist and Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) spokesperson, after he was arrested under the Sedition Act, and detained, on 5 May.

The gathering, which consisted of around 30 former and current students of the academician, dispersed after 10 minutes due to police pressure.

“We negotiated with the officer in charge and obtained permission to read our statement to the crowd. Although there was clear intimidation by the police, we cooperated fully as we had no intention of causing trouble to anyone,” SCAR’s statement said.

SCAR demonstrating outside Monash Uni
SCAR demonstrating (© SCAR)

SCAR expressed shock at the police notices, calling them “another act of repression” on students’ freedom of expression.

Noting that this may be the first case of “overt student repression in any private university or college”, the group called on all students of such institutions to be vigilant.

“They must not let their freedom of expression and association be taken away from them, because restriction on thought and expression is an obstruction to excellence,” SCAR’s statement read.

Police looking menacing

SCAR revealed that one of its members received a letter by post from the police yesterday, instructing her to appear at the Subang Jaya police station for questioning about the 7 May gathering. The notice was served under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

A subsequent check by human rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) confirmed that two (corrected) former students and a Suaram representative who was present at the gathering were served with notices. They have been given two weeks from 27 May to report to the police station.

The SCAR statement said that for privacy and safety reasons, the group would not reveal the names of the individuals involved.

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20 Responses to “Police summon Chin Huat’s former students”

  1. M.K. says:

    What a waste of time! The police should direct their resources towards crime prevention, i.e. chasing Ah Longs and snatch thieves instead of innocent students.

  2. An illegal gathering is an illegal gathering. You fight the fight, now face the repercussions. Brand it “another act of repression” if you must, but know this. It’s constitutionalised repression that nobody has yet to ask to be amended just yet, thus it is valid and legal in the borders of this nation.

  3. siew eng says:

    Demonstrating yet again selective prosecution, and this time to a new generation and their families and friends, thereby awakening more dissenters and ensuring the so-called RAHMAN prophecy really ends at Najib for Umno. Thanks, PRDM!

  4. chinhuatw says:

    Many things are legally wrong in Malaysia, and some are strictly private – like “unnatural sexual acts”.

    Should the citizenry tolerate these nonsenses because they are still part of the law?

    Hafidz, would you call criminalisation of anal sex or oral sex a “constitutionalised repression that nobody has yet to ask to be amended just yet”?

    Would you tell anyone who is charged for these “offences”, “you fight the fight, now face the repercussions”?

  5. Naoko says:

    Hafidz Baharom, I’ve got a question:

    The gathering took place on private grounds. As far as I know, it was held in Monash Uni grounds. Does that mean students can no longer gather in groups of more than three even in their universities? How to do group discussions then?

    I didn’t realise that the concept of an illegal gathering extended to private compounds.

  6. SCAR says:

    Dear Zedeck/TNG Editor,

    I’d like to point out that both the SCAR members [mentioned in our release] were FORMER students of Chin Huat and FORMER Monash students.

    I apologise for not making it clear enough in our earlier statement. I hope that you can make the necessary amendments in order not to confuse readers. Thank you.

  7. Disgusted says:

    When you go to the police station make sure you bring along your lawyers cause you will be safe . Without them I am not so sure that we can trust them.

  8. I’m sorry, but just where exactly in the constitution does it say that one cannot have anal sex, Chin Huat?

  9. devil says:

    This police action is unnecessary and uncalled for. It is of great concern.

    The police must re-think what it is trying to achieve. Is it trying to create a generation of people who think the govt is a bully. It is achieving much to push a generation of new voters to vote against BN.

    This action is totally counter productive.

  10. Meng says:

    Are you sure they would not be abused sexually?

  11. abu sayab says:

    SCAR start convincing all your uni mates to register themselves for the next GE and boot the BN/Umno out.

  12. Simon Tee FB says:

    Why on earth did the police arrest the students in front of the campus which looks like a car parking area to me? Don’t tell me it is wrong for students to be at the University ?

    Looks like Monash would have to soon open a class for four especially for political science students.

  13. Kail says:

    Residents in housing areas are resorting to or forced to employ private guards to guard their areas, some even to the extent of fencing up section by section of the area with chain-linked fences. Aren’t you ashamed PDRM? Where were you? What have you been doing all this time? Busy arresting students in peaceful gatherings? Tak malu kah?

  14. Jason Sim says:

    Hafidz: I beg to differ: An illegal gathering is only illegal if it’s anti-BN. If it’s not, it’s totally legal. Take a look at the Rembau MP. And the Penang Umno. All legal.

  15. D Lim says:

    This is called ‘harassment’.

  16. Pratamad says:

    Hafidz,

    There is a huge difference between rule of law and rule by law. According to Wikipedia: Under the rule of law the law is preeminent and can serve as a check against the abuse of power. Under rule by law, the law can serve as a mere tool for a government that suppresses in a legalistic fashion.

    The Communist regime in China is a typical example of rule by law. Do you not see Malaysia moving towards that direction?

    We do not want that. Malaysians can and should think, whether the law put upon us fits the natural justice principle or not.

  17. kahseng says:

    Hooray to Monash University. Now it has a chance to grow great.

    If groups related to the local campus can wisely resist and help deflect such police oppression over time, this campus may just grow into a center of academic freedom, which eventually will mean academic excellence.

    It may take decades, but the opportunity to resist government oppression affords Monash a way to quicken this pace.

    Private universities/colleges are highly valuable to a society. We locals tend to look at private colleges as commercial and profit making centers.

    Not so.

    1. Private centers for learning provide academic and budgetary benchmarks for public universities, because the private ones are open to competition. What public universities cannot gauge (proper salary and investments, for example), they will need to refer to the private ones for reference to prevent deterioration.

    2. Private schools provide sanctuary for brilliant, dissenting, innovative, minds. It is obvious in this case.

    3. Private schools can provide a base to nurture civil movements, competing political ideas, that are important for social advancement. (This is what the police fear, however).

    For example, the private Han Chiang High School in Penang dared to rent its large space (centralised location) to the Opposition parties on the eve of GE12. That rental, 2 major rallies there, large crowds, and large donations collected, raised many eyebrows, but helped the Opposition send a clear signal to the public about growing voter discontent.

    In fact, private education should be the mainstay of education in a liberal environment. They just do a better job for the same amount of money.

  18. chinhuatw says:

    Hafidz, the Federal Constitution does not actually define or mention things like illegal gathering.

    All it says is “Parliament may by law impose on [the right to assemble peaceably and without arm] such restrictions as it deems necessary or expedient in the interests of the security of the Federation or any part thereof or public order”.

    When you said “constitutionalised repression”, I suppose you mean that criminalisation of so-called “illegal” assemblies is permitted by the Constitution.

    By the same token, I am sure you can see clearly how the criminalisation of oral or anal sex is also a “constitutionalised repression” as it’s the Constitution that self-evidently permits a citizen to be penalised for his/her private act. In that sense, you certainly need no reminder of List 1 of the Ninth Schedule which allows the federal government to legislate on criminal laws.

    I suppose you would therefore congruently and righteously see any charge of oral and anal sex as “valid and legal” and hail the observation of laws while the rest of us condemn it as violation of human rights.

  19. Anonymous says:

    [quote] Hafidz Baharom Posted: 3 Jun 09 : 8.04PM

    I’m sorry, but just where exactly in the constitution does it say that one cannot have anal sex, Chin Huat? [/quote]

    It’s not in the Constitution, but in the Penal Code section 377A:

    Carnal intercourse against the order of nature.
    Any person who has sexual connection with another person by the introduction of the penis into the anus or mouth of the other person is said to commit carnal intercourse against the order of nature.

  20. First and foremost the gathering took place outside the gates of Monash, on the street which is by far not “private property” as someone pointed out. – Re: Naoko

    Secondly, yes, there is a law against carnal intercourse and oral sex, Penal Code 377, which I myself hope to see reformed in due time. The act itself constitutes a breach of a citizen’s right to privacy, as pointed out by Anwar Ibrahim in an interview recorded by the Daily Express here.

    http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=30664

    And believe me, I will make him eat those words if he ever wins over the government.

    – Re: Anonymous

    And yes, Chin Huat, if caught and charged under Penal Code 377 with proof, then it is still a valid charge. Law is law, until you change it, amend it by pressuring those in charge of it to do so.

    We may not wish for a society that is ruled by law as pointed out by Pratamad, however, to deny the fact that we’ve been living under such in the past and were just fine with it due to fear of persecution does not make it any better.

    It is up to all of us to make a stand. And while some make symbolic gestures by taking to the streets, it does not help put pressure on the individuals in Parliament to make the change.

    Causes such as media freedom, sexual and privacy rights, the need for free and fair elections are causes that are supposed to be apolitical. And until it is stopped from being branded as Opposition causes, it is a lost cause.


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