Deputy education minister says in process of resolving UM-graduate conflict

Debra Chong
Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching speaks to reporters at an event at SJKC Bercham in Ipoh October 2, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The Education Ministry has stepped to mediate a conflict between Universiti Malaya (UM) and graduate Wong Yan Ke who was denied his civil engineering degree after his protest stunt during the convocation ceremony earlier this week.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching told reporters both parties must engage to reach an amicable resolution, The Star reported today.

“We are in the process of doing that,” she was quoted saying after launching the “Back-to-School” programme at SK Klang Gate.

Teo was also reported saying that she personally felt it was wrong of the university to refuse Wong the scroll for his bachelor’s degree when he went to collect it on October 16.

“Personally, I disagree with this,” news portal Malaysiakini quoted her saying.

Wong is in the spotlight for his carrying a placard on stage on October 14 to demand the resignation of UM vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim as a show of protest against the latter’s alleged racial remarks during the October 6 Malay Dignity Congress.

Malaysia’s oldest university has since filed a police report against Wong, who is now being investigated for intentional insult to provoke a breach of the peace under Section 504 of the Penal Code.

The controversy has divided the country into two main camps, with one supporting UM and calling for action against the graduate and other saying attention should be given to Wong’s message against racism.

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