Several elected reps and activists joined in with a group of USM students to stage a protest against the Sedition Act and to express support for law professor Azmi Sharom during a lunch-time gathering at USM.
The gathering was held just inside the Jalan Sungai Dua entrance to the USM campus under the watchful eyes of campus security, a handful of uniformed police, plainclothes police and reporters including Malaysiakini’s Susan Loone, who herself is being investigated for sedition.
The group later moved just outside the entrance, facing Jalan Sungai Dua.
Among those present were Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, activist Wong Chin Huat and Aliran’s Mustafa K Anuar. Also witnessing the gathering were a few USM lecturers.
Judging from conversations, a group of postgraduate students was apparently warned – during a briefing by one of the deans last week – “not to get involved in politics”. One wonders what USM’s definition of ‘politics’ is.
Incidentally, USM is helmed by the brother of the local chairman of Umno.
Still, this was a marked improvement from previous gatherings at Jalan Sungai Dua. During the reformasi era, Light Strike Force personnel showed up to disperse students. At another gathering a few years ago, a group showed up and tried to intimidate demonstrators.
This time, the gathering ended without incident.
Meanwhile hundreds staged a simultaneous protest at the University of Malaya today at the same time.