KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28, 2014:What was initially planned to be a talk turned into a full protest when a crowd of around 1.500 people, including students, forced their way into Universiti Malaya (UM) for Pakatan Rakyat leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. PR leaders tonight took to commending the students’ “act of bravery” and branded it as a fight for democracy. Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali said the act of defiance was a good sign that Malaysia would finally achieve the true meaning of democracy. “If there are students like those in Universiti Malaya who can stand up against their own Vice-Chancellor, this is a good sign that Malaysia will achieve democracy,” said Azmin during his speech at an Abolish Sedition Act Movement event at the PJ City Council banquet hall this evening. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng voiced the same sentiment as he addressed the crowd at the same event as Mohamed Azmin, saying: “The university said that if they continue the programme, they will be expelled, but the students are not afraid. “I want to praise the students who are willing to be expelled to stand up for freedom,” said Lim, adding that a locked door or a barred gate would not stop the students. DAP leader Lim Kit Siang took advantage of the event at the PJ City Council banquet hall by asking the public to rise up if Anwar fails in his Sodomy 2 appeal tomorrow. “If Anwar goes to jail on Wednesday, let there be a third wave of the people’s uprising,” he said, noting that there had been two major waves in the history — one in 1998 and the other at the 13th General Election. Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang, however, questioned the Opposition leader’s move which he claimed was an act of selfishness, disregarding the students’ future for the sake of his. In his Twitter, Tan said: “When the UM students are expelled and their future is affected, who will be responsible? I am sure that is not the Opposition’s problem. Think about it. “The Opposition will promise many things. But when the student’s future is affected because they broke the law, the Opposition will disappear. That is not their problem. “He (Anwar) is smart. He let the student break into UM first … then only he came. This is the characteristic of those who are using the students. Idiot!” Tan wrote.
The campus’ entrance gate was broken down tonight after students took to swaying against it, resulting in the locks to give way before the gates were flung open. The students then flooded the campus grounds.
Soon after, Anwar entered the campus grounds with his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
They made their way to the Dewan Tunku Canselor where Anwar addressed the crowd, saying he still believed that the law would prevail and he would be set free. (His appeal against his conviction for sodomy will be heard later today in the Federal Court.)
He also took to praising the organiser of the talk, president of Persatuan Mahasiswa Universiti Malaya Fahmi Zainol, saying people like Fahmi were the future of the nation.
“They will fight corruption and the arrogant leadership of the BN-led government,” he said in his speech, which was delivered in the dark outside the Dewan Tunku Canselor.
It was reported earlier that campus authorities had denied receiving a request for the programme to be held within the campus.