We in the Malaysian Academic Movement (Gerak) are academics, educators and parents concerned about Malaysian higher education, much of the rot that has set in, and the wider environment causing and contributing to the rot.
We teach our students to question, criticise and come up with alternatives. We also hope that we teach our students to speak truth to power.
We are heartened in this regard to note that a new generation of younger concerned citizens, some of them our students, past and present, are sharing these concerns about academia and the wider social setting.
We are firmly with them.
Many of these younger – and genuinely patriotic – citizens will be rallying today, under the ad-hoc youth coalition, Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat.
Some of them have been hauled in for questioning this past week. Here, as elsewhere, this pattern of intimidation, for too long, has violated the rights of citizens, activists and dissenters to publicly gather and express their views peacefully.
They are gathering peacefully and following closely all the standard operating procedures set up by the authorities.
They are practising their democratic right to peaceful assembly and must be allowed to do so without being intimidated, harassed and, worse, assaulted and arrested.
They have a message about change that has already gathered momentum in every community in Malaysia, following the failure of this government to take care of its citizens.
They are our children, our students, our friends, our responsibility.
The authorities who will be there must remember this.