Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Mass Protests Showing Solidarity Supports to Azmi Sharom

500 UM students march for law lecturer 

Source : Malaysiakini

About 500 Universiti Malaya students, sporting blue ribbons, staged a march in their campus in solidarity with law lecturer Azmi Sharom, who has been charged with sedition. The protesters, who included five DAP MPs, also demanded that the Sedition Act be abolished.

"The strike is also to demand the repeal of the Sedition Act," said Fahmi.

Azmi (above, addressing the crowd) was also present. 

Led by the UM student union president Fahmi Ismail, the protesters marched for about 1km from the Law Faculty.

In Penang, a group of students in Universiti Sains Malaysia also staged a similar march.

Speaking to reporters later, Azmi said he was proud of the students for coming out in large numbers to voice their concern.

"Freedom of speech is an issue close to the students' hearts,” he said.

Azmi said he does not know if the students would face disciplinary action for the demonstration, but he is prepared to defend any of them hauled up by the UM administration.

Speaking to reporters later, Azmi said he was proud of the students for coming out in large numbers to voice their concern.

"Freedom of speech is an issue close to the students' hearts,” he said.

Azmi said he does not know if the students would face disciplinary action for the demonstration, but he is prepared to defend any of them hauled up by the UM administration.

Students are not sheep

Azmi, in his speech to the gathering, expressed gratitude to Universiti Malaya Academic Staff Union (PKAUM) and the UM students union for organising the demonstration.

"(But) my biggest thank you is to the students of UM," said the academician, who has 24 years of teaching experience under his belt.

Commenting on Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin's call to the students not to skip class for Azmi’s sake, he joked that this was probably because Khairy was never absent from class as a student.

"He doesn't understand that all of you here are not pro-Azmi, but because you prioritise human rights and freedom of speech.

"We will show the country that students are not like sheep, that they know about important issues.

"This is about freedom of expression, this is not just about freeing Azmi Sharom," he added.

Azmi also urged students to seek freedom for preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussin, who was charged with sedition this morning.

"We must ask for the freedom of Wan Ji, Safwan Anang, the late Karpal Singh, Adam Adli, Tian Chua, Rafizi Ramli, N Surendran, Teresa Kok and Susan Loone as well as the president of Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma).

"This is the difference between us and those who defend the Sedition Act.

"It is not good for him (Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman) as well. Although I don't agree with what he says, we must defend his rights to speak out,” Azmi said, referring to all caught in the sedition dragnet.

'No intimidation'

Meanwhile, Economics and Administration Faculty lecturer Terence Gomez said that this is the first time the student and academic staff union has come together for a cause, since he started teaching in UM in 1993.

Commenting on the spate of arrests, he said academicians would not be able to publish controversial articles should it continue.

"We won't accept the kind of intimidation we are being subjected to. I say stop this nonsense, now."

The protest ended at 2pm, after speeches by various students and academicians, with the protesters singing the national anthem.

Students participating in the students union strike will skip their classes until 4.30pm today, to attend a lecture in the campus on the issue.

Also present at the demonstration at the MU campus were DAP MPs Gobind Singh Deo (Puchong), Lim Lip Eng (Segambut) and Teresa Kok (Seputeh).

Small group in Penang shows solidarity

Source : Malaysiakini

A small group of protesters expressing solidarity with law lecturer Azmi Sharom were told to take their rally outside Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) grounds.

The group of 20 - students, NGO activists and several elected representatives - were told politely to hold their rally outside the university gates on Jalan Sungai Dua by USM security department head P Sundramoorthy, who is also a criminologist.

The group, led by the Student Progressive Front (SPF), complied despite being stopped while they were half-way through their speeches.

For a brief moment, the group carried placards condemning the 1948 Sedition Act, including one which says ‘Rosmah Mansuh Akta Hasutan’.

They were taking a dig at the father’s name of the prime minister’s wife, ‘Mansor’, which sounds similar to ‘mansuh’ (abolish).

Political scientist Wong Chin Huat said the 1948 Sedition Act is a tool of oppression to criminalise and colonise the people’s minds.

Wong said it was ironic that the federal government had launched a series of arrests under the Sedition Act during the Merdeka season.

“We are not doing this because we love Azmi, we are also doing this for all victims of the Sedition law.

“Unlike the charge of criminal defamation, truth is no defence for  sedition.

“You will get into trouble as long as you anger someone. What independence are we talking about?” he asked.

“Independence is not only about changing from colonial rule but it must also ensure our minds are not colonised,” said the Penang Institute research fellow.

Accompanying Wong (left) were Penang cabinet member Dr Afif Bahardin, several academicians, former USM lecturer Mustafa Kamal Anuar, Aliran treasurer Anil Netto, PKR’s Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin and Machang Bubok assemblyperson Lee Khai Loon.

Outside the university compound, SPF spokesperson Lee Chung Lun said the rally was to “pressure” the prosecution to drop the sedition charges against Azmi, who is a Universiti Malaya academician.

The group also wants the authorities to stop the “selective prosecution” towards politicians from the (federal) opposition camp.

“The authorities should respect the academic freedom of students and academicians.

“We urge Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to fulfil his promise to repeal the Sedition Act,” said Lee.

This is part of a simultaneous rally held for Azmi and other victims of the Act at UM today attended by 500, including lecturers and undergraduates.


通告 Notification


作为坚守“独立自主”和“与民同在”的立场的一个民间组织,人民之友在上个月对即将来临的第14届全国大选投票,发表了一篇以华文书写的意见书,题为:投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!。



The English and Malay renditions of Sahabat Rakyat’s opinions about next election will be published here consecutively

As an NGO which upholds “independent and autonomous” position and "always be with the people" principle, Sahabat Rakyat had released a Chinese-written statement of views with regard to the voting in the upcoming 14th General Election, entitled “Vote for candidates who are against State Islamisation: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent the return to power of Mahathir’s faction!”

The English rendition of this statement will be published in our blog in the near future whereas the Malay rendition will be published next month (November). Please stay tuned!

We hope that our position and views pertaining to the next General Election expressed in the statement will be accurately and widely disseminated and also examined by the popular masses of various ethnicities and social strata through their involvement in the struggle of the next General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.

Akan datang: Penerbitan penterjemahan pendapat Sahabat Rakyat mengenai pilihan raya ke-14 dalam Bahasa Inggeris dan Bahasa Melayu

Sebagai sebuah pertubuhan masyarakat yang berpendirian teguh tentang prinsip "bebas dan berautonomi" dan “sentiasa berdampingan dengan rakyat jelata”, Sahabat Rakyat telah menerbitkan kenyataan tentang pandangan kami terhadap Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 yang akan datang yang bertajuk "Undilah calon yang menentang Pengislaman Negera: Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Jangan benarkan puak Mahathir kembali memerintah! "

Penterjemahan Bahasa Inggeris kenyataan tersebut akan diterbitkan dalam blog kita dalam waktu terdekat manakala penterjemahan Bahasa Melayu akan diterbitkan pada bulan hadapan.

Kami berharap pendirian dan pandangan kami berkenaan pilihan raya kali ini yang dinyatakan dalam kenyataan tersebut dapat disebarkan dengan tepat dan meluas untuk diuji dalam kalangan rakyat semua bangsa semua strata sosial melalui penglibatan mereka dalam amalan pelbagai parti politik dalam pertempuran pilihan raya umum kali ini mahupun masa depan.

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