LAWS which restrict students in higher education institutions from being involved in political activities are currently being amended.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (pic) tabled the changes to the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA), Educational Institutions (Discipline) Act 1976, and the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act 1996 in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
The amendments, if passed, will enable students in both public and private higher education institutions to be involved in political party activities within their campuses.
The amendments are expected to be passed in this current Dewan Rakyat session, which ends on Dec 11.
The amendments will apply retrospectively and include any existing disciplinary actions taken against students in higher learning institutions.
Disciplinary hearings against students will also be discontinued once the proposed amendments come into force.
Pakatan Harapan promised to repeal UUCA and other laws if it took over the federal government in its GE14 manifesto.
The government has since issued a statement saying that the UUCA will be repealed in 2020 and replaced with a new law.
The UUCA was tightened to restrict student activism in 1975 after the landmark Baling protests in December 1974.
Thousands of university students demonstrated there in support of rubber tappers who were struggling due to the collapse in global rubber prices.
The protests were led by prominent student activists at the time, such as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Hishamuddin Rais.
After 1975, the restrictions were applied to students not only in public universities, but also those in private higher education institutions, polytechnics, community colleges, and teacher training institutes.