Skirting around UUCA

After watching this video and reading a little about it, I was happy that students are now interested in running for politics. Then, I thought to myself, what about the UUCA – particularly Section 15 of the Act? So, I looked up a copy of the relevant act and this is what Section 15 says:


SECTION 15 : PROHIBITION ON A STUDENT OR A STUDENTS’ ORGANISATION, BODY OR GROUP ASSOCIATING WITH SOCIETIES, ETC. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OR APPROVED BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR.

(1) No person, while he is a student of the University, shall be a member of, or shall in any manner associate with, any society, political party, trade union or any other organisation, body or group of persons whatsoever, whether or not it is established under any law, whether it is in the University or outside the University, and whether it is in Malaysia or outside Malaysia except as may be provided by or under the Constitution, or except as may be approved in advance in writing by the Vice-Chancellor.

(2) No organisation, body or group of students of the University, whether established by, under or in accordance with the Constitution, or otherwise, shall have any affiliation, association or other dealing whatsoever with any society, political party, trade union or any other organisation, body or group of persons whatsoever, whether or not it is established under any law, whether it is in the University or outside the University, and whether it is in Malaysia or outside Malaysia except as may be provided by or under the Constitution, or except as may be approved in advance in writing by the Vice-Chancellor.

(3) No person, while he is a student of the University, shall express or do anything which may be construed as expressing support, sympathy or opposition to any political party or trade union or as expressing support or sympathy with any unlawful organisation, body or group of persons.

(4) No organisation, body or group of students of the University which is established by, under or in accordance with the Constitution, or any other organisation, body or group of students of the University, shall express or do anything which may be construed as expressing support, sympathy or opposition to any political party or trade union or as expressing support or sympathy with any unlawful organisation, body or group of persons.

(5) Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with the provisions of subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

This got me thinking – wow, these students might actually have come up with something interesting! I think that they might have come up with a way of skirting around Section 15 of the UUCA! You see, if the students are independent and are not part of any society, political party, trade union, unlawful organisation, unlawful body or unlawful group, they might have just nullified Section 15 of the UUCA!

Now, it would be really interesting if the students who run, run as independents. Under Our Constitution, almost anyone above 21, can offer themselves to run as candidates. I do not see how the Elections Commission has any authority to deny the students their right to run. Even if they are found to have committed an offense under the UUCA, the paltry fine of RM1,000 or 6-months imprisonment would not disqualify them from running either, under the law.

So, it would be really interesting if the students ran, and got their papers accepted by the EC. If that happens, it would set a precedent that while the students cannot join a political party, cannot campaign for any union, cannot sign up for any society, cannot associate with any unlawful organisations, bodies, or groups, they can run as independents.

Now, that would be very interesting.

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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