Higher Education Ministry says will review controversial guidelines for entertainment activities at IPTAs

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 1 — The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) today said it will review its guidelines on entertainment activities and concerts at public institutions of higher learning (IPTA) that called for gender segregation.

According to The Star, the ministry said the review will be conducted by the Higher Education Department and the Universiti Malaya Cultural Council.

“It is also a detailed guide for carrying out entertainment activities and programmes in the form of concerts, conducted by students on HEI premises,” it was quoted in the report.

The ministry also said the guidelines were introduced to protect the peace and safety of students and the rest of the campus community during events.

Separately, the University of Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany) told the MoHE to immediately rescind the guidelines, adding that it will also seek judicial review of their introduction.

“The content of these guidelines are extremely conservative, prohibiting actions such as mixed seating of males and females and artists wearing shorts.

“We demand an immediate withdrawal. Otherwise, the youth of University Malaya will initiate a judicial review challenging the constitutionality of these guidelines,” it said in a statement today.

In June, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he would meet with the MoHE to discuss the appropriate flexibility on the organisation of concerts at IPTAs.

He said the government would likely grant leeway in the organisation of programmes such as cultural events, but they should be held in a small scale and controlled manner.

He was replying to a question raised by a student who wanted to know the government’s action following a concert that was held at a public university believed to be in Terengganu that month.

A 37-second video showing male and female students standing close together during the concert went viral on social media at the time.