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TheAge: Malaysia Gets Tough On Student Activists
By Mark Baker

8/7/2001 10:13 am Sun

[Pemerintah yang sedikit bijak tidak bermain dengan pelajar kerana mereka mempunyai rangkaian yang sukar ditewaskan bila sudah menjalar. Mahathir nampaknya hanya akan mempercepatkan Umno gulung tikar.... kerana kebanyakkan revolusi dan kebangkitan rakyat adalah kerana sentuhan kaum pelajar....... - Editor]

Malaysia gets tough on student activists


Saturday 7 July 2001

The Malaysian Government has launched a crack-down on university campuses in a new effort to stamp out growing opposition to its authoritarian rule.

A student leader has been arrested under the Internal Security Act - which allows detention without trial for up to two years - and another was expelled from his university for joining anti-government protests.

Education authorities warned there would be further arrests and expulsions if student groups continued to agitate for political reform and an end to summary detentions.

The youth wing of the ruling United Malays National Organisation is reported to be preparing to publish on Monday the names of so-called "militant groups" based on campuses and details of their activities.

Khairul Anuar, a 24-year-old engineering student at Kuala Lumpur's Institut Kemahiran Mara, was arrested on Thursday under the security act after being ordered by police to explain his role at a rally outside the national mosque last month. Ten police later raided his home and confiscated materials including a computer and video discs.

A police spokesman said Mr Khairul was "assisting police in their investigation into activities found detrimental to national security".

It is believed to be the first time since 1974 that the security act - introduced by the British colonial administration to counter terrorism - has been used to target student activists.

Six prominent opposition figures arrested under the act in April continue to be held in prison, even though a judge condemned the use of the act as a political weapon, and released four others who were detained at the same time.

Malaysia's government-appointed Human Rights Commission, Suhakam, attacked the arrest of Mr Khairul and said people accused of crimes should be charged and allowed the rights and protection of the normal legal system.

"Detention without a proper trial or due process of law is against the very tenets of human rights," said commissioner Anuar Zainal Abidin.

Rafzan Ramli, a second-year engineering student at the Universiti Teknologi Mara, who also took part in the national mosque protest, was expelled on Thursday.

Education Minister Musa Mohamad signalled further moves against student activists and said private colleges were being warned not to enrol students who were expelled from public universities.

July 06 , 2001 20:15PM

External Influence Leads To Emergence Of Militants, Says Norian

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 (Bernama) -- The emergence of militant religious extremists has been attributed to the influence of foreign struggles and nurtured by certain political parties which are capable of creating chaos in the country, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Norian Mai.

Based on investigations, he said, a section of these groups who were influenced by foreigners while they were abroad were actually the ones bringing in the militant influence to this country.

"They were there probably as students or fighters and we find that some of them had been involved in the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as the fighting in Ambon," he said at a media conference after officiating the closing of the Police Science Diploma Programme for the 2000/2001 Session at the Police Senior Officers College, here Friday.

He was asked to comment further on the matter which he had raised in his speech at the closing ceremony.

Norian said religious extremists could easily spread the influence because they had experience in fighting during the war, in the use of firearms and the jihad experience which was considered as extremist.

He said the others were influenced through the religious activities which were held behind closed-doors in this country aimed at nurturing the jihad spirit.

Norian said so far police had uncovered the activities of the religious extremist groups namely the Al-Ma'unah Group and the Mujahidin, two different groups with a common objective.

"Based on investigation, the two groups are not related but they have a common function in terms of their struggles that is to put up an Islamic nation by militant means," he said.

He said if these two groups, which were not related to each other but had common objectives, could exist then it was not impossible that other groups with similar objectives could also exist.

He said police were carrying out investigations to detect the emergence of such groups.

He also disclosed that investigations on the Mujahidin group were still going on but could not say when the probe would be completed.

The Mujahidin group was the militant religious group suspected of being involved in criminal activities including the murder of politician Dr Joe Fernandez in November last year.

So far, nine members of the group had been detained after they failed to rob Southern Bank Jalan Gasing in Petaling Jaya on May 18.

Earlier, he gave away diplomas to 40 officers who had completed their one-year course at the college.