Arresting students for expressing their dissatisfaction over exam paper is excessive – MP

Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii. Photo courtesy of Kelvin Yii Facebook.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 – The arrest of the two 18-year-olds over a viral video of them expressing their dissatisfaction over this year’s SPM history paper is an excessive action, says Member of Parliament for Bandar Kuching Dr. Kelvin Yii.

The MP, who is also DAPSY National Chief, said it would be better to educate and guide these students rather than be treated like criminals and investigated under archaic and possible oppressive laws.

Calling for a drop in the investigation, he described their arrest as “beyond excessive, disproportionate and may possible create unintended mental stress and and infliction on their overall well-being” in a statement issued here today.

The two teenagers were arrested on Friday to help with investigation over a viral video on Tik Tok showing the secondary school students criticizing the History paper for this year’s Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).

Their arrest came following reports made by a teacher.

In his statement, Yii also called for a review of Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, saying it was broad in scope, vague and ambiguous, with entirely subjective terms such as “offensive” and “annoy” making it particularly prone to abuses.

“Section 233(1)(a) of the CMA is a serious encroachment on the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by Article 10(1)(a) of our Federal Constitution. While freedom of speech may have its limitations and restrictions, such restrictions must be reasonable and proportionate. The extremely wide and draconian effect of Section 233(1)(a) renders it an impermissible restriction, in as much as it unduly negates the exercise of the right to speech and expression.

“What is more important in this case in the well being of the student” he said, adding that such disproportionate action may leave a stigma as well induce fear in the students, which would be contrary to the spirit to educate and mould the country’s young students.


YB Dr Kelvin Yii