Academics slam Najib supporters’ assault on peaceful student protesters

The Malaysian Academic Movement (Gerak) strongly condemns the attack by Najib Razak’s supporters on six University of Malaya students yesterday.

Unedited video images of the attack clearly show the students peacefully exercising their constitutional rights to freedom of assembly and of expression of their views on the former prime minister.

Then, a bunch of Najib’s supporters shamelessly set upon them and assaulted them. In the process, and in typical racist hooligan’s style, Najib’s supporters played the racial card by spinning the students’ criticism of their boss as “menghina orang Melayu”.

This we condemn as outright stupid, cowardly and racist. The students were clearly and only criticising Najib. By no stretch of any normal person’s imagination could this be construed as “insulting the Malays”. They were expressing their disapproval of a man who himself could be construed as having insulted his race, religion and country.

Gerak demands a stop to this thuggery and racially charged actions. We call upon the authorities to not detain and further harass the innocent party, the students. Instead, swift action must be taken against the real wrongdoers – those who manhandled and verbally abused the students.

We also call upon Education Minister Maszlee Malik and the entire academic fraternity to show solidarity with the six students. We should not allow any form of thuggery and racism to undermine our academic freedom and constitutional rights.

Gerak executive committee

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