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After Azmi Sharom case, academics push for greater freedom

 | February 12, 2016

Malaysian Academics Movement (Gerak) insists that intellectual freedom is a prerequisite for country to develop world-class educational institutions.

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KUALA LUMPUR: A coalition of Malaysian academics has urged the government to allow greater intellectual freedom in universities which they insist is a prerequisite to establishing world-class universities.

In a media statement , The Malaysian Academics Movement (Move), better known by its Malay acronym Gerak, expressed the need for the government to unshackle intellectual opinions by academicians.

“We can never have high-ranking world-class universities without academic freedom.”

In particular, it referenced Dr Azmi Sharom’s failed bid on Oct 6, 2015 to declare the Sedition Act 1948 unconstitutional. It said Azmi was charged under the Sedition Act for giving his expert opinion as a legal academic.

Move’s general secretary Rosli H Mahat expressed concern that “the court, by upholding the Sedition Act has in fact allowed for the continuation of a law that can be and has been used to curb academic freedom”.

Rosli opined that academicians had a responsibility to share their expertise with the general public and urged Attorney-General Mohd Apandi Ali to set the tone.

This follows the decision today by the Attorney-General to drop the sedition charge against Azmi.

The law professor was previously charged under Sections 4(1)(b) and 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act for opinions expressed in an article titled “Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told”.

Related story:

Drop in sedition charge ‘too little, too political’, says Zunar


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