Thursday, November 17, 2005

Restore Campus Democracy and Student Rights in Malaysia

To: Minister of Higher Education of Malaysia

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned of numerous reports of misconducts by the authorities of the 17 local public universities in the recently-concluded campus election. We are also disappointed with the subsequent persecution against students who have been struggling for campus democracy and calling for free and fair campus elections.

Free and fair elections are the basic pillar of a true democracy. Freedom of expression and freedom of association are fundamental rights guaranteed by both the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We firmly endorse these globally acknowledged international norms of democracy and human rights. Therefore, we call on the Malaysian authorities for the following:

• To investigate allegations on the flawed campus elections and malpractices by the university authorities

• To declare the September campus elections as null and void, and call for a fresh poll for all 17 local public universities. The new elections shall be conducted and monitored by independent bodies

• To immediately withdraw charges/disciplinary actions against pro-democracy students


The Undersigned