Student protesters at Dataran Merdeka have lashed out at Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin’s “arrogant” tweet reaction to them being attacked by a mob last night.
This morning, Khaled tweeted: “No one asked them to camp out at Dataran Merdeka. When something happens, don’t go asking for sympathy”.
Student group Malaysia Bangkit said Khaled’s reaction was unbecoming of a minister.
"He should have listened to us and come down to talk to us. He should treat us as his children, not as enemies,” said the group’s chairperson Mohd Syahid Mohd Zaini during a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.
Asked to comment on the same attack when met by reporters in Parliament today, Khaled's deputy Saifuddin Abdullah reserved comment till he could gather and verify further information on the matter.
He said that he was in contact with the students at the Dataran and would find out more.
They had been camping out at the Dataran Merdeka for six days now, protesting what they claimed to be high interest rates and administrative charges imposed by the national educational loan fund (PTPTN).
They argued that education cost which they claimed was too high should be free instead, calling for their loans to be written off.- malaysiakini
Saran siswa 'jangan tagih simpati', menteri dikecam...
Reaksi Menteri Pengajian Tinggi Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin berhubung insiden serangan ke atas sekumpulan siswa di Dataran Merdeka hari ini menerima kecaman daripada pemimpin pelajar terbabit.
Pengerusi Malaysia Bangkit, Mohd Syahid Mohd Zaini dalam satu sidang media berkata, Mohamed Khaled tidak sepatutnya bertindak "angkuh" dengan mengeluarkan kenyataan seperti itu.
Mohd Syahid berkata, Mohamed Khaled sepatutnya mendengar keluhan pelajar berkenaan dan bukannya melayan mereka seperti anak kecil.
Menteri tersebut tidak sepatutnya mengeluarkan kenyataan seperti itu, kata Mohd Syahid lagi dalam satu sidang media di bangunan Parlimen hari ini.
Mohamed Khaled dalam reaksinya ke atas insiden tersebut menulis di Twitter: "Tiada siapa pun suruh berkhemah di Dataran, bila berlaku apa-apa perkara, jangan tagih simpati."
Beliau mengulas insiden melibatkan sekumpulan individu tidak dikenali yang merosakkan khemah dan menyerang kumpulan pelajar yang berhimpun di satu sudut di Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.
Seorang daripada pelajar berkenaan dibawa ke hospital ekoran kecederaan yang dialami ekoran serangan pada awal pagi ini.- malaysiakini
PAS to send 'bodyguards' to Dataran...
PAS has ordered its maroon uniformed welfare group, better known as Unit Amal, to provide security for the student protesters camping out at Dataran Merdeka. Khairul Faizi Ahmad Kamil, the PAS Youth wing secretary, said about 30 Unit Amal volunteers would be stationed at Dataran Merdeka from tonight onwards.
He said this was a reaction to the mob attack on the occupiers which occurred at about 3am this morning.
“I am very disappointed with what happened. Based on this, I can conclude that our democracy is in peril,” he said.
The mob reportedly removed their tents of the protesters, damaged their video recording devices and physically attacked them, causing numerous injuries.
Khairul Faizi said the Unit Amal patrols will continue until the April 28 Bersih 3.0 rally, when the students are scheduled to end their protest.
The students have been camping out in Dataran Merdeka for six days. They are protesting against the National Higher Education Loan Fund (PTPTN) which they say should be abolished.
In a related development, student group Malaysia Bangkit has urged the police to look after the protestors and take responsibility for failing to stem the attack.
“We are gathering peacefully. We are demanding free education. The police and Kuala Lumpur City Hall should respond. They were there (when the attack happened),” said the group’s leader Mohd Syahid Mohd Zaini.
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohmad Salleh had advised the public from taking matters into their own hands. This is to avoid an escalation of the incident.
Asked on PAS Unit Amal’s presence tonight, he said: “It is best that they let police investigate the matter first.
“We want all parties who have information to come forward. I don’t want anyone to use this as a reason to retaliate in violence,” he said.- malaysiakini
Unit Amal akan kawal siswa hingga 28 April