GEORGE TOWN, April 26 — University students were today warned against abusing their new freedom to engage in political activities that they have been accorded under amendments to the Universities and University Colleges Act.
“This is a question of responsibility of young people towards the nation. The government does not restrict their rights.
“The Act provides for democracy and freedom. It is hoped that the undergraduates will use this freedom for national development and not mere politicking,” Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) was quoted as saying in a Bernama report.
A recent amendment to the Act allows university students to hold positions in both political parties and campus organisations. The amendment was one of the several pledges of reform made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, hoped undergraduates would not abuse their new political freedom to engage in unhealthy political activities.
He was responding to a question when he met students of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) during his one-day visit to Penang.
He had earlier addressed a gathering of about 6,000 civil servants and youths at a dialogue at USM’s Dewan Tunku Canselor.
He expressed confidence that undergraduates of today were more matured in making decisions and they would also direct their grievances to the relevant authorities for a solution.
According to the report, Muhyiddin gave an assurance that the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan scheme would be maintained for as long as necessary.
The issue of abolishing PTPTN should not arise and be played up because the loan facility was aimed at assisting needy students to further their studies, he said.
“The PTPTN issue should not be politicised. The government has made available RM43 billion in loans for disbursement to students,” he was quoted as saying.