Politics a no-no for students

  • Nation
  • Monday, 07 Aug 2006

PUTRAJAYA: The Government is not in favour of allowing students to support political parties at the moment, although there is talk about amending the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA). 

“At this stage, we do not suggest that students be allowed to affiliate themselves with political parties,” said Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed. 

“We had consultations with hundreds of people. 

“Some feel students should be allowed to affiliate themselves with political parties but many more feel they shouldn’t be,” he said after presenting the championship award to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in the Uniten Rowing Invitation 2006 here yesterday.  

Mustapa said students and politics are just one aspect of the UUCA. 

He said the Act also deals with other matters, citing the “grey area” involving the responsibilities of a vice-chancellor and chairman of a university board. 

These matters, he added, would be cleared with amendments to the Act that would be tabled in Parliament next month. 

Regarding the appointment of former National Accreditation Board (LAN) chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hassan Shahabudin as the new Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia VC from Aug 27, Mustapa said: 

“We look at ability and merit. The search committee members made the unanimous decision to appoint her. There’s no preference for any gender.” 

Dr Sharifah Hapsah is the second woman to be appointed VC of a local university, after Datuk Rafiah Salim made history as the first woman to head Universiti Malaya in May. 

Dr Sharifah Hapsah will be replacing Prof Mohd Salleh Mohd Yasin, who will take over her position in LAN. 

Mustapa said she would continue to help the ministry in preparing the Malaysian Qualifications Agency Bill and the creation of the new agency. 

“Prof Sharifah will be helping us until we get through the whole exercise.  

“There is an understanding between us that she will to help tie up any loose ends,” he said.  

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