Mob heckles seven undergrads in UPM
PETALING JAYA: Gangsterism reared its ugly head in Univerisiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) when about 50 "pro-establishment" students took the law into their own hands and manhandled seven students who are members of an organisation perceived to be "anti-establishment" last Monday (July 17, 2006).
A video clip obtained by theSun showed the large group surrounding and pushing about six members of the UPM Student Progressive Front (SPF) in the campus canteen.
Giving an account of the incident to theSun today, third-year Chinese Studies student Lim Sok Swan said she and six other friends were manning a help counter for new students when the incident started.
Lim said a group of about 50 students led by a student council leader suddenly surrounded and scolded them for setting up the help counter when the SPF is not a registered body.
"They demanded we leave within 10 minutes, saying we are not allowed to be there to disturb students.
"We replied that we were just helping students' welfare and denied disturbing anyone as it was in a canteen that is open to everyone," she said.
"We had done nothing wrong ,so we declined to leave. They then pushed us away and removed our tables, chairs and flyers," she added.
She alleged that campus security officers who were present did not offer any help and merely watched.
"I was very scared," Lim said, adding she called the police as she felt the tension was escalating.
"They only stopped harrassing us when police officers arrived," she added.
Another student said she was pushed and fell on the floor when trying to take some photographs of what was happening.
The student who said her camera broke when it fell lodged a police report at the Seri Serdang police station.
"A similar incident took place on July 11(2006) where a group of 'pro-establishment' students tore up our materials at the help desk," she added.
Meanwhile, Suaram coordinator Chang Lih Kang urged the Higher Education Ministry, the police and UPM's authorities to investigate and take action against the culprits.
"It's a crime to intimidate someone," he said, adding that at least 15 police reports have been lodged over the incident.
Meanwhile, Subang Jaya police chief ACP Mohd Fuad Talib said police have received five reports from the students.
He said investigations revealed that the incident arose as a result of a misunderstanding over an event organised by the students.
He said apart from some pushing and jostling among the students at the time of incident, no one was reported to have been assaulted.
Mohd Fuad said police have spoken to UPM officials and have left the matter to be resolved internally.
"But our officers will continue monitoring the situation to avoid any untoward incident in future," he said.
UPM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Nik Mustapha R. Abdullah and deputy vice-chancellor (student affairs and alumni) Assoc Prof Dr Azali Mohamed could not be reached for comment today (July 20, 2006).for the video, click here.
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Things like this should not be allowed to go unpunished...those involved should get a severe warning at the very least, even an expulsion should not be ruled out. Shame on those officers that stood silently and did nothing. I salute the 7 students who stood up against those monkeys, they are courageous.