SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: February 19, 2013

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):University of Malaya

Region & Country:Southeastern Asia | Malaysia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

A panel on general elections, scheduled to take place on February 19 at the University of Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections, was cancelled allegedly due to pressure from senior government officials.
According to reports, the Centre’s Director Professor Mohamad Redzuan Othman received instructions from government officials to retract an invitation to Nurul Izzah Anwar, member of a leading opposition party, who had been scheduled to speak. The panel, which had originally consisted of politicians with equal representation across political parties, was ultimately cancelled and replaced with a panel of academics. Nurul Izzah Anwar was allowed to attend as a member of the audience.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about apparent interference by government officials with the organization and content of university events held on campus. Government pressure aimed at influencing the content or selection of participants in university organized events constitutes an unreasonable restriction on expressive activity on campus and undermines university autonomy.