KUALA LUMPUR: An amendment to the Universities and University Colleges (Amendment) Bill 2012 allows university students to hold positions in both political parties and campus organisations.
Khairy Jamaluddin (BN - Rembau), on Thursday, tabled a motion to throw out subsection 15(2)(c) which forbids students who hold posts in political parties, from running for or having positions in campus bodies.
Khairy brought the motion on behalf of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) which was accepted by the Dewan Rakyat.
The Bill, together with this amendment, was passed by the Dewan via a voice vote Thursday night.
Khairy said the BNBBC welcomed changes to the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) which allowed students to be members of political parties.
"However, subsection 15(2)(c)is self-contradictory to the Government's aspiration for transformation and goes against social norms which call for the political freedom of students," Khairy said.
He said although the BNBBC recognised that campus neutrality must be maintained, there should not be a regressive restriction on the freedom given to students.
"For us, the prohibition gives the impression that the transformation brought forward by the Government is just a 'half-baked' reform and will cause more negative polemics," he said.
The amendment to the UUCA to allow students to participate in political activities was one of the several pledges of reform made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.