Kedah MB lashes out at critics

(The Star) – Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak has lashed out at critics, including Pakatan Rakyat leaders who are baying for his blood following the suspension of five students from the state-owned Kolej Universiti Insaniah (Kuin).

He said only PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang could sack him if he (Hadi) was not happy with his (Azizan’s) move to support Kuin’s decision under the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA).

“I will only abide by directions from the party president and I am answerable to him. I am warning others not to interfere with the decisions of the state government,” he said.

Azizan said the issue was raised because there were certain quarters who were not happy with the running of the state government under him and wanted to kick him out.

“This is not the first time that the PAS-led government has been criticised since we came into office in 2008. I sense there are people within Pakatan who are not happy with how I run the state,” he said.

Azizan was responding to criticisms by law professor Abdul Aziz Bari, who urged Pakatan to take action against PAS leaders for supporting the use of UUCA.

An online news portal had also quoted PKR communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad as saying that it regretted that the college had taken action against the students.

PAS central working committee member Hanipa Maidin, who is representing the students in court, had also reportedly lambasted Azizan without naming him in his blog.

Azizan said before Pakatan took over the state the party had promised that it would not act like Barisan Nasional by interfering in state administration and the decisions of state civil servants.

“We cannot have a double stand … If we are angry with Barisan interference we should not act like them. We should do things by the book. We do not like the UUCA but we have to follow it because it is the regulation that must be abided by universities and university colleges,” he said.

Azizan said the five students who were suspended in May last year for organising protests did not abide by UUCA.

“The decision to suspend them was made by Kuin. The state government did not interfere with the decision,” he said.

The students were hauled up before a disciplinary committee on May 25, 2011 for breaching the UUCA by participating in a demonstration, making speeches with loudspeakers and holding a press conference to protest the use of a religious teaching block to house a smart school.

Azizan said even if Pakatan wanted to abolish the UUCA, it did not mean that students could do whatever they wanted.

“Show me a college or university in other Pakatan states that do not follow the UUCA.

“All of them follow the UUCA, including state-owned universities and colleges in Selangor and Kelantan,” he said.