Don’t hide behind bad law, academic tells Kedah MB

(The Malaysian Insider) – Constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari has advised Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak not to hide behind legal technicalities in the face-off with student activists over academic freedom in Kedah.

“The MB should not hide behind all the technicalities. The ball is at his court actually,” the former law professor said in a statement to The Malaysian Insider

He reminded the Kedah mentri besar that there were good and bad laws, and that the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) belonged to the latter category. 

“Just like the ISA, Sedition Act or PPPA,” he said, referring to the series of security and printing and publication laws that federal opposition bloc Pakatan Rakyat (PR) have described as draconian and archaic and promised to reform in their election manifesto they called Buku Jingga

Azizan, a senior PAS leader, has been defending state-owned Kolej Universiti Insaniah’s (KUIN) suspension of five students under the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) in May last year. 

“How can he (Aziz) ask me to interfere in university administrative matters? Secondly it has been brought to court… so why the fuss,” Azizan said yesterday. 

Abdul Aziz resumed his sparring match with Azizan after the latter accused him of being “blind to existing laws” and not behaving like a proper academic. 

The former law lecturer at the International Islamic University (UIA) urged Azizan to revoke KUIN’s decision to suspend its five undergraduates and render the court case academic. 

“As a syariah scholar the Kedah MB should know this. He has overlooked this and should say sorry and revoke all the decisions in KUIN,” Abdul Aziz said. 

He further criticised Azizan for using state funds to hire a lawyer to represent the varsity in court.