KUALA LUMPUR: Another Universiti Malaya (UM) student courted controversy after it was alleged that he instigated other graduands to demand for the vice-chancellor’s resignation.
Following that, the student, who was also set to receive his scroll, was not allowed to attend the university’s convocation ceremony yesterday.
UM in a statement today said a placard belonging to the graduand was also seized for containing provocative words.
It stated that the placard alone was sufficient to prove that the graduand had the intention to interrupt the ceremony that was about to begin.
“In order to ensure that the ceremony which was attended by 1,500 guests including parents, academicians and other graduands went smoothly, the Business and Accounting Faculty graduand was escorted out of Dewan Tunku Canselor and was not allowed to attend the ceremony yesterday.
“UM always upholds the freedom of speech. However, as an institute of higher learning with a huge responsibility to educate the future generation, UM also believes that this freedom should come with accountability.
“Therefore, whatever action that is executed from such right has to be done at the right time and the right place,” it said.
UM stated that any provocation on the issue of racism could be a threat to the safety of the vice-chancellor.
“It also threatens the harmony and public order at UM.
“As a result of the incident, UM has tightened its security to ensure that the ceremony which is the university’s annual major event would proceed smoothly, safely and without fault or interruptions,” it said.
In a separate event on Monday, an engineering graduand had, after receiving his scroll during a convocation ceremony session, produced a placard with words "Tolak Rasis" (No to Racism) and "Undur VC" (step down, vice-chancellor).
The graduand also repeated the words and yelled “ini tanah Malaysia” (this land is Malaysia) after receiving his scroll during the 59th UM Convocation Ceremony.