Malaysia

Student group says willing to apologise over Najib flag faux pas

Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) took to the streets yesterday to lobby the repeal of the University and University Colleges Act. - Picture by Choo Choy MaySolidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) took to the streets yesterday to lobby the repeal of the University and University Colleges Act. - Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 – The coalition in support of academic freedom (Bebas) said today it has no qualms about apologising over an incident where a student activist had lowered and then raised Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s flag in front of the Umno headquarters yesterday.

Bebas leader Safwan Anang however insisted that the student coalition had done nothing wrong, dispelling allegations that they had insulted Najib.

He told The Malaysian Insider Bebas will be meeting Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah over the matter. The incident occurred before Saifuddin accepted Bebas’ memorandum yesterday.

“Actually, I do not see the action of lowering down the flag with the image of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as a big offence... one participant did it and was advised against it by security officials, and then the flag was lifted up again.

“But if some have felt that what was done was offensive, we apologise. We respected the advice of the security official at the time, we did not disobey orders,” he said, adding that the flag looked better after it was raised again.

Saifuddin demanded that the group apologise over their actions last night through Twitter.

“I await their statement,” Saifuddin told The Malaysian Insider today.

Student activists had admitted on Twitter yesterday that what happened was not planned, and was out of the control of the organisers.

Student activists had marched to the Umno headquarters to demand academic freedom.

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