Student demands UKM revoke suspension over #TangkapMO1 rally

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BANGI: Student activist Asheeq Ali remains defiant in exercising his right to protest and has demanded that Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) revoke his suspension for taking part in the #TangkapMO1 rally last August.

Speaking to reporters outside the university here before submitting a memorandum to the Student Affairs Council department, Asheeq said he will not even accept any form of warning from UKM.

“I won’t even tolerate a warning from UKM on my actions at the event. I will submit my appeal today and I give UKM one week to retract the suspension and the fine imposed.

“This is a form of intimidation and clearly a misuse of power by UKM,” he said..

Asheeq also warned “Mahasiswa Turun Parlimen” (Mantap) for defaming him in a Facebook posting that was uploaded yesterday.

“The posting is calling for all students to not follow in my footsteps. They have even used a picture of me, without my permission.”

He then issued an ultimatum, giving Mantap 24 hours to take down the posting and issue a public apology or “I will initiate legal action”.

FMT had reported earlier today that the third-year law student had received the one-semester suspension after he was found guilty in a hearing with the university’s disciplinary board on Tuesday. He was also fined RM200.

According to Asheeq, the board’s reasoning was that he had embarrassed the university and that he had committed an offence under the Peaceful Assembly Act (2012) by participating in an illegal rally.

“In order to convict someone, the UKM hearing board has to prove intent, that the person wanted to disgrace the university.

“I had no intention to disgrace the university. I was only participating as a Malaysian citizen to exercise my rights to free the country from corruption.”

Asheeq was not the first student to be punished for organising the rally.

Last month, student coalition Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia’s chairperson Anis Syafiqah and three other students were issued show cause letters by Universiti Malaya for the same reason.

#TangkapMO1 was held to push the police into investigating and subsequently arresting the mysterious Malaysian Official One (MO1) named in the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) civil forfeiture suit in July.

The suit alleged that billions of dollars were embezzled from state-owned 1MDB, a case which the DoJ labelled to be the biggest kleptocracy incident it has ever dealt with.