Woon King Chai, one of the UKM 4 who filed a claim that the Section 15(5)(a) of the UUCA/AUKU is unconstitutional writes an open as the UKM 4 are mere hours away from their matter’s decision by the Kuala Lumpur High Court. These four political science students who were arrested at Hulu Selangor during the by-election while on a field trip for their Election Analysis subject, have gone on to fight for not just theirs but all Malaysian students’ freedom. LoyarBurok would like to extend their best wishes and support as the UKM 4’s good fight culminates in a court decision at 2.00p.m today.


I am writing this open letter with respect to the announcement of the KL High Court’s decision on the constitutionality of Section 15(5)(a) UUCA 1971, today, 28 September 2010 at 2:00p.m.

There is no doubt that the decision will carry much implications and impact upon our personal lives and future. Whether the 4 of us will have the opportunity to continue our undergraduate studies or be forced to end it pre-maturely will also be determined by the outcome of tomorrow’s court decision.

Since the filing of our claim on 1 June 2010 at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, that Section 15(5)(a) of the University & University Colleges Act 1971 is unconstitutional and in contradiction of our personal liberties and freedom as citizens of Malaysia, all 4 of us (the so-called “UKM 4”) have placed our complete confidence in the legal and judicial system of Malaysia.

However, I personally think that tomorrow’s decision is more than just about the UKM 4, but rather it is also a decision that will affect future of all undergraduate students and youths in Malaysia.

It is important to note that tomorrow’s decision is not just about reclaiming the right for students to participate in politics but it is also about reclaiming our freedom of pursuing our academic interests, speech, association, assembly and movement as guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.

Even as political science students ourselves, we have our rights as Malaysian citizens stifled, what more students and youths that are outside this field of studies and yet are concern with the social developments and issues concerning the society?

The UUCA/AUKU is more than just an act that stifles student autonomy and freedom but it is also an act that is creating various implications towards the development of our Malaysian society. When our own youths and students are not given the opportunity and freedom to choose and learn to make decisions themselves, how can we trust that they will make good decisions in the future when they themselves are leaders and stewards of this country?

Many NGOs, academicians, community leaders, and concerned members of the Malaysian society have voiced out their support in this struggle to reclaim student autonomy. Therefore, it is with great humility that we would like to invite all concerned members of the society to join us, together with students and youth of this country to stand together in solidarity and hope for the future of this country.

Thank you very much.

Warmest regards,

Woon King Chai
Political Science student
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

  • Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, the lawyer for the UKM 4 speaking with citizen journalist R. Vijay Kumar after the 2 August 2010 hearing.

King Chai is a Chevening Scholar currently pursuing an MSc. in Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Contrary to popular belief, he is still mindlessly a loyal minion...

4 replies on “An Open Letter to All Students and Civil Society: Today’s Decision on Constitutionality of S.15(5)(a) UUCA”

  1. Go UKM4!

    I was hoping that finally Malaysian graduates have the guts to challenge the AUKU. I hate the AUKU even though I am no longer a graduate and had my education overseas. Simple, it kill leadership. I am a firm believer that leadership should be nurtured at University level.

    It is at this level you nurture idealism of what is right against what is wrong. At this level even if you do screw up, it would not be the whole country and nation is at stake. You get to learn what leadership is all about. Make your learning mistakes and move on to the next level.

    It is a bloody mistake to not allow university students to excercise their rights for political activism because this is where you have nothing to loose but your youthfulness and idealism.

    Go for it!

  2. May the universal force be with you guys. You guys make the country proud for thinking and fighting the rights that is ridiculously made wrong.

  3. Political science students not allowed to attend a by-election campaign is like a footballer not allowed on the field!

    If the real reason was to close students' minds, then it was futile with today's information technology. Nevertheless, to the students, the feel of a real campaign in progress is important and invaluable to their exposure, much like footballers getting the experience of a large cheering or booing crowd. We have seen over and over again, how specialists in penalty kicks faltered under stress in real situations.

    What is our government afraid of? A truly popular regime would have nothing to fear, like real gold facing fire.

    Currently, our government is enticing successful Malaysians overseas to come back. Isn't it ironic that those were the people well exposed to all kinds of experience and yet we are shielding our own students from some basic freedom. Under such restricted circumstances, how could we expect them to develop their latent talents and skills, as well as their confidence?

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