AUKU still needed, can be further improved with amendments - Anwar
SHAH ALAM - The government deems the Universities and University Colleges Act (AUKU) 1971 necessary due to its relevancy to current needs.
The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, however, said the Act can still be amended to make some provisions clearer.
"The Higher Education Minister (Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin) or the ministry's secretary general can look into the various acts that may overlap with higher education.
"Exercising control over IPTA (public higher education institution) and IPTS (private higher education institution) may be different. I don't have a strong opinion about whether to join (the Act) or not, so it's up to them.
"In my opinion, what was raised about the Act is important. AUKU is a provision of freedom in the university, or academic freedom, for lecturers to write, state their opinions, and criticise certain matters. There are several other important provisions.
"Some people want it abolished, but I don't think that's necessary. We can amend some provisions to make them clearer," he said during the dialogue session with the Universiti Teknologi Student Representative Council, here, on Friday.
Also present were Higher Education Minister Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin, UiTM Board of Director chairman Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Raduan Che Rose and UiTM Vice Chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Hajah Roziah Mohd Janor.
Meanwhile, on Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman's devastation over the cancellation of the "Jelajah Mansuh AUKU" programme and the "Interns Are Not Free Labour" dialogue session that was supposed to take place on March 30 but was not approved by the university, Anwar said he was open to it.
"'I'm open to it as long as you follow the rules when entering the university. You have to inform the university first, that's all.
"When we are given flexibility, you have to inform them when you want to enter. We have rules, and the HEP (Students Affairs) department has to control it but not be too strict. If the programme brings about racial and religious enmity, then they have to be strict.
"I don't care. We want to keep the national security situation under control, so we won't tolerate matters like that," he said.