Top posts

Featured Posts

Malaysian student jailed over anti-government protest

State news agency Bernama reported that a magistrate's court had found Umar Mohd Azmi guilty of obstructing a Kuala Lumpur City Hall officer during the protest against the government's university loan scheme in April.

The 23-year-old final year undergraduate had allegedly obstructed the officer from arresting a fellow activist on April 23, during a week-long occupation of a historic landmark in the Malaysian capital.
Umar's lawyer Syahredzan Johan told AFP: "We were surprised because even the deputy public prosecutor did not ask for a jail sentence."

He added that his request to stay the sentence pending an appeal was rejected by magistrate Zaki Asyraf Zubir, despite the prosecution having no objections.

Instead, a stay application will only be heard by the High Court here on Monday, forcing Umar to spend the weekend in prison, Syahredzan said.

The students had planned the occupation to lead up to the April 28 mass rally by influential polls reform group Bersih, where tens of thousands poured into the city to call for free and fair elections.

Critics say the loan scheme saddles graduates from private institutions with huge debts and are calling for the government to offer more opportunities to study in public universities, which are subsidised by taxpayers.

Malaysian police fired tear gas and water cannon during the Bersih rally in the first major test for the government's new Peaceful Assembly Act which it said would do away with decades-old restrictions on public protests.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has promised a raft of reforms including giving students more political freedom as he seeks to regain support in national polls that must be held by the middle of next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog