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Bersih rally: Six lose student loans

 | March 19, 2012

Terengganu pulled back study loans of six students who protested against the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) and Bersih rally.

TERENGGANU: Six students who had failed to provide the Terengganu state government with ‘satisfactory’ reasons for their participation in last year’s massive Bersih 2.0 rally had their study loans revoked.

Among the six was a third-year medical student.

Menteri Besar Ahmad Said in announcing the government decision said: “We pay them to study, not to participate in demonstrations or get involved in undesirable situations.

“The state government hopes this serves as a warning to others to not get involved in improper activities.”

Ahmad said the six had not only participated in last July’s massive rally in Kuala Lumpur calling for electoral reforms but had also protested against the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) earlier this year.

Asked if the six could appeal against the state government’s decision Ahmad said: “They can appeal .. we will see”.

The state government’s decision comes despite promises from Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak-led administration to relax its grip on civil liberties after its clampdown on the Bersih 2.0 rally last year earned international condemnation.

Among his efforts were the Peaceful Assembly Act, which was passed in Parliament last year, and plans to amend Section 15 of the controversial UUCA to allow students to become active members of political parties.

The contentious Bersih rally also saw Najib forming the parliamentary select committee for electoral reforms.

The PSC was tasked to look into ways of improving the country’s election process. The committee concludes on April 2.


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