Court to hear students’ grievances for disrupting 1MDB meeting

students'-grievancesPETALING JAYA: The High Court will hear the complaints of four Universiti Malaya (UM) students who were found guilty of indiscipline for holding up placards during a 1MDB town hall meeting last year.

Their lawyer Lim Wei Jiet said Justice Azizah Nawawi today accepted a judicial review application filed by the students last month.

“The merit of their complaints will be heard since the Attorney-General’s Chambers did not object to the application,” Lim told FMT.

The applicants are former University of Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany) president Ho Chi Yang, Umany deputy president Tan Jia You, Umany publicity bureau head Chua Hun Ti and Umany secretary-general Lau Li Yang.

They faced three charges brought by the university.

The first was for creating a situation of indiscipline and disruption by raising placards with the words “1MDB Pulangkan Duit Rakyat” (1MDB return the people’s money) during the 1MDB Forum.

The second charge was for destroying, and being a detriment to public order, decency and discipline by raising the placards.

The third charge was for interfering in an official university event with the words in the placards.

All the offences were committed under Rule 3 and 11 of the UM Disciplinary Rules and the four were fined between RM200 and RM600 after they were found guilty by a disciplinary committee.

On appeal, the UM’s Appeals Committee quashed the fine and let them off with a severe warning.

In their judicial review application, the students said they wanted the finding of guilt to be quashed, or else they would be prohibited from contesting any society post in the university.

They also want several rules that regulated disciplinary proceedings to be declared unconstitutional as the person who presided over the disciplinary hearing was the same individual who prepared the three charges.

“The rule against bias steps in as the same person cannot play two roles in dispensing justice,” Lim said.

The incident took place last October while 1MDB group executive director and president Arul Kanda Kandasamy was addressing university students.