UM lodges report over graduate's protest at convocation ceremony
PETALING JAYA: Universiti Malaya (UM) has lodged a police report against a civil engineering graduate who staged a solo protest calling for the resignation of the varsity’s vice-chancellor, Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim.
“The university will leave it to the police to investigate the incident and take the appropriate action, ” UM said in a statement posted on Facebook on Tuesday (Oct 15).
Student activist Wong Yan Ke displayed a placard on stage after he received his degree scroll on Monday (Oct 14).
A video clip of his protest has since gone viral with almost 73,000 views.
Denouncing the act as disrespectful to the ceremony, UM said Wong’s action had disrupted the proceedings and protocol.
Wong shouting “Ini Tanah Malaysia” and carrying a placard with the words “Tolak Rasis” (reject racists) and “Undur VC” (step down VC) had sullied the varsity’s good name, UM said.
“As a world-renowned university, UM has always adhered to the right to free speech but it must be expressed at a proper venue and in a proper way.
“His actions were rude and unacceptable as this was done during an official ceremony officiated by UM Chancellor Sultan Nazrin Shah on Saturday.”
The varsity said it was the responsibility of UM to ensure that every graduate is not only educated, but more importantly, is able to use that knowledge to become a “learned, respectful and polite individual”.
Less than 24 hours ago, Wong posted a lengthy explanation on his Facebook – in Bahasa Melayu and Chinese – on the reasons behind his action.
He said it was done to protest the vice-chancellor’s recent speech at the Malay Dignity Congress in Shah Alam.
He claimed that the speech was racially charged and as a graduate, he had a right to criticise and call for the individual to be courteous.