Memo to Suhakam

Meanwhile, the Malaysia Youth and Students Democratic Movement (Dema) and Inter-Varsity Council (IVC) today handed over a memorandum to Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) to protest against the suppression of Assoc Prof Dr Chia Oai Peng’s academic freedom.

“We hope Suhakam will look into the case of Dr Chia and review the Statutory Bodies Act 2000, This case exposes how academicians and civil servants have been denied the freedom of expression,” said IVC secretary-general Ng Wei Aik.

Suhakam assistant secretary Choo Eng Hong accepted the memorandum, saying that the case will be looked into.

Malaysiakini reported last Monday that Chia, of the Literature and Social Science Faculty, received a show-cause letter from university vice-chancellor Prof Dr Anuar Zaini Md Zain for her e-mail postings on the Damansara Chinese school issue in a discussion group last month (Lecturer asked to show cause for Internet postings, March 5)

Anuar told Chia in the show-cause letter that her statements had touched on government policies, hence they could be regarded to have violated a little known regulation called Statutory Bodies Act 2000 (Disciplinary and Surcharge).

A storm of protest on the Internet has since emerged in support of Chia, upholding the right of academicians to discourse on pertinent issues of the day and condemning the reproof Chia received from the university authorities (Outpouring of support on the Net for vocal don, March 8).