Two judges of the Court of Appeal today held that students in Malaysian universities could participate in politics, and that the law prohibiting them from doing so was unconstitutional.
The two judges formed a majority of the Court of Appeal who heard the four students’ appeal from the High Court decision on 28th September 2010 which had dismissed their application with costs.
The written judgment of Hishamuddin Yunus JCA is at UKM4 Hishammudin Yunus. The grounds of judgment of Linton Albert JCA is at UKM4 Linton Albert. Both allowed the appeal by the UKM 4 with costs, and declared section 15(5)(a) of the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (Act 30) unconstitutional as being inconsistent with their freedom of expression.
Linton Albert JCA in particular calls section 15(5)(a) manifestly absurd, pointing out:
What better illustration can there be of the utter absurdity of section 15(5)(a) than the facts of this case where students of universities and university colleges face disciplinary proceedings with the grim prospect of expulsion simply because of their presence at a parliamentary by-election.
The dissenting judgment was by Low Hop Bing JCA, whose judment is at UKM4 Low Hop Bing Dissent.
It is reported that UKM is contemplating applying to the Federal Court for leave to appeal against this decision.
Read more about the UKM4 on LoyarBurok here.