No plans to abolish still-relevant UUCA, says Dep Higher Education Minister

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has no plans to abolish the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA) as it remains relevant law, says Datuk Mohamad Yusof Apdal.

"The UUCA is an important, relevant and well-functioning act. Any weaknesses can be fine-tuned and improved through amendments, without abolishing it, said the Deputy Higher Education Minister during Question Time in Parliament on Thursday (March 16).

He said that UUCA has been amended seven times since it was enacted in 1971.

"The last amendment was in 2019 that abolished Section 15(2)(c), giving more space and freedom to students to voice up and be involved in politics within and outside campuses.

"This shows the ministry takes into account the views and constructive suggestions of all quarters to improve the UUCA," added Mohamad Yusof.

Chow Yu Hui (PH-Raub) then raised a supplementary question, asking how the ministry would ensure students' autonomy in the proposed UUCA amendments.

In response, Mohamad Yusof said recent amendments had allowed campus elections in a total of 14 universities from December last year till February this year.

"The remaining six universities have not held their campus polls yet as their terms have not ended," said Mohamad Yusof.

Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah (PN-Indera Mahkota) then interjected and said that he hoped the government was serious about abolishing UUCA and replacing it with a more comprehensive law.

In response, Mohamad Yusof said the government would take into account all views.

"We will consider any proposal and improve UUCA," said Mohamad Yusof briefly.

Last month, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin told the Dewan Rakyat that Putrajaya had no plans to abolish the UUCA.

Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman had previously reminded the government that Pakatan Harapan previously promised to abolish UUCA in its GE15 manifesto.

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