05 December 2011

Media Statement 29th November 2011

Resolved that the Malaysian Academic Movement (MOVE) once again reiterate our concern with respect to the continuing persecution and intended prosecution of Professor Aziz Bari of the International Islamic University Malaysia by the powers that be. We urge the parties concern to stop and revoke all investigation and disciplinary proceedings that aim to intimidate students and academics from addressing their immediate concerns.

Professor Aziz is a highly regarded scholar of Malaysian constitutional law and society. While he has written many scholarly books over the years on Malaysian Constitution, he continues to be persecuted by the police, politicians and his own university (IIUM) for his scholarship. Advocates of public debates and nonviolent approaches like Professor Aziz are silenced by state power and its apparatus.

Professor Aziz is becoming the symbol against a long history of academic repression and harsh censorship in Malaysia. Unfortunately, the problem of intellectual freedom and free speech in Malaysia has had a poor record under the current leadership. In 2011, the World Press Freedom Index placed Malaysia in 143th place in a list of 196 countries, whereas Malaysia was in 124th position when the current leadership came to power in 2008. Moreover, constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press, expression and assembly are undermined by other provisions, and in practice they are only partially upheld.

Prof Aziz Bari’s prosecution for exercising his right to freedom of expression conflicts with Malaysia's obligations to recognize the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; the right to freedom of expression; and the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of association as delineated by the Constitution of Malaysia. Thus, threatening and intimidating students and professors for exercising their right to free expression and assembly violates international and Malaysian law.

Punishing dissenting comments and ideas badly undermines academic freedom, which is all about the right to free expression and freedom of opinion. The International Islamic University Malaysia should reinstate Professor Aziz to his former status and rescind all investigation and disciplinary proceedings.

We believe that institutions of higher learning must resolutely uphold and defend the principles of academic freedom, and must also be sanctuaries for the free expression of ideas and opinions. This means that universities must also be a haven for controversial speech. We commend our national and international colleagues for your clear and vigorous defense of academic freedom and free speech in this case, and we continue to stand firm in defense of Professor Aziz Bari.

On behalf of MOVE,

Prof Wan Abdul Manan Wan Muda
Malaysian Academic Movement (MOVE)


Every person has the right to live free of coercion, discrimination and fear of violence.
Every girl and woman has the right to live free of coercion, discrimination and fear of violence

Every girl and woman has the right to education. Without education to empower economic, social and political participation, solutions to global problems of poverty, conflict and violence are beyond reach.

Yet, for hundreds of millions of girls and women worldwide, these human rights are denied. Education International works to ensure that women’s rights are protected. Further, EI recognizes that gender based violence is not a woman’s issue-it is an issue that concerns all of mankind.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marked every year on 25 November, acknowledges injustice and encourages change. EI calls upon teacher organisations to raise awareness of the scope of the phenomenon of violence against girls and women, and to organise prevention measures to eliminate violence against women in the union, in the workplace and in the community. Schools must be safe spaces for all, learners and teachers, if they are to full fill their promise of truly being places where people learn and grow together.

EI advocates for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), especially Article 10, which calls for all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of education and the elimination of stereotyped concepts of roles of men and women at all levels and in all forms of education. Non-discriminatory education benefits both girls and boys and thus ultimately contributes to more equal relationships between women and men.

EI seeks to build commitment to non-violence and peace in the minds of men and women education workers through gender-sensitive trade union and human rights education and non-violent approaches to conflict resolution.

On this 25 November, EI calls on governments to guarantee the provision of quality universal public services, in particular quality education and vocational training free of charge and with adequate facilities, qualified teachers, gender-sensitive relevant curricula, safe transportation, and sanitation. It is through these measures that girls and women with have the chance to achieve not only literacy but empowerment and the right to lead their lives free of the fear of violence and discrimination.

For further information go to

· EI Congress resolution on Gender Equality

· ITUC Trade unions say no to violence against women and girls

· UN Women Virtual Knowledge Centre to end Violence against Women and Girls

· UN Women 16 Steps to End Violence against Women

14 November 2011

Forum Kebebasan Akademik di Malaysia

Masa: Selasa, 1 November 2011 mulai 8.30 malam
Tempat: Bilik Wau, Rumah Universiti, Universiti Malaya

Anjuran Bersama:
Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK)
International Islamic Univesity Malaysia Academic Staff Association (IIUMASA)
Persatuan Kakitangan Akademik Universiti Malaya (PKAUM)

1) Pengenalan kepada kebebasan akademik - Prof Madya Rosli H Mahat
2) Forum Kebebasan Akademik di Malaysia

Ahli Panel:
Prof Wan Manan Wan Muda (USM)
Dato Dr Denison Jayasooria (UKM)
Prof Madya Zaharom Naim (Nottingham U)
Mohd Zaki Sukery (GAMIS)

05 November 2011

Academic Freedom Without Fear or Favour

Sharifah Hapsah Shahabudin
Vice Chancellor
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia


20 October 2011


MOVE would like to draw attention to the recent allegations and undue pressures impressed upon our fellow academic Professor Abdul Aziz Bari.

We are concerned and troubled by the negative remarks and personal attacks towards Prof Abdul Aziz. He is well qualified to make his stand clear over matters within his field of expertise. Threats and personal attacks are inappropriate and unprofessional. If anyone disagrees with him, they should be engaging him in a rational and professional discourse.

As an academic renowned for his contribution to the academia, Prof Aziz has the right to express his professional views freely and without prejudice as upheld by the notion of academic freedom. Academic freedom is a basic right of every academic, and must be respected and preserved.

The various principles of academic rights and academic freedom are enshrined in a UNESCO document, “Recommendations Concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel”, which was conceded by the UNESCO General Assembly on the 11th of November 1997; among others, Article 26 and 27 have stated clearly that academics’ freedom involves “the right to contribute to social change through freely expressing their opinion of state policies and of policies affecting higher education”. It further emphasizes “they should not suffer any penalties simply because of the exercise of such rights”. The recent provocative actions directed towards Prof Aziz shows a clear violation of the said articles.

MOVE/GERAK once again invites all concerned to reflect on the basics of academic rights and freedom. As we envision Malaysia to be a developed nation, may this nation be not left behind in its fundamentals of upholding the sovereignty of academic institutions and that of academic freedom. Let us be hopeful to shape a country that provides world class education; excellent in all its ways, yet has not sacrificed its soul to get there. All stakeholders must be in compliance with the Recommendation for Malaysia to be a hub for higher education on par with world class universities.


19 October 2011

GERAK ingin menarik perhatian terhadap tohmahan dan tekanan didalam media terhadap tokoh akademik Profesor Abdul Aziz Bari.

GERAK merasa terkilan atas celaan berbentuk peribadi yang telah dikenakan terhadap beliau. Prof Abdul Aziz adalah seorang yang berwibawa dan berkelayakan untuk membuat kenyataan ilmiah dan rasional dalam bidang kepakaran beliau. Mana-mana pihak yang tidak bersetuju dengan pandangan beliau sepatutnya menghujah balas secara rasional dan profesional tanpa sebarang ugutan atau celaan pribadi.

Sebagai seorang ahli akademik, Prof Abdul Aziz berhak menyatakan pendapat seperti yang telah dilakukannya. Ini adalah sebahagian dari kebebasan akademik yang dipunyai oleh setiap ahli akademik. Mana-mana negara yang mahukan universiti mereka disanjungi dan dihormati sebagai universiti bertaraf dunia pasti menyokong, menghormati dan melindungi kebebasan akademik ini.

Kebebasan akademik ini telah disaran oleh UNESCO melalui satu dokumen bertajuk Recommedation Concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel. Dokumen ini telah diluluskan oleh perhimpunan agung UNESCO pada 11 November 1997. Kebebasan akademik ada termaktub dalam artikel 26 dan 27 Recommendation tersebut. Antara hak yang dinyatakan dalam Recommendation tersebut ialah:

“hak untuk menyumbang kepada perubahan sosial melalui kebebasan menyatakan pendapat mereka terhadap dasar-dasar negara dan dasar-dasar yang memberi kesan kepada pendidikan tinggi. Mereka tidak seharusnya dikenakan apa-apa penalti semata-mata kerana mengguna hak tersebut”

GERAK menyeru semua pihak supaya menghayati dan menghormati kebebasan akademik. Semua pihak hendaklah akur terhadap Recommendation tersebut pada bila-bila masa. Keperihatinan pihak-pihak yang berkepentingan (stakeholders) dalam perkara ini amat perlu untuk memertabatkan Malaysia sebagai hub pendidikan tinggi antarabangsa dengan universiti-universitinya bertaraf dunia.

Diedarkan bagi pihak GERAK oleh

Rosli H Mahat
Setiausaha Agung
Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK)

18 October 2011

World Bank: Race quotas, politics led to falling UM standards

Race quotas, politics led to falling UM standards, says World Bank study

By Leslie Lau
Executive Editor
Malaysian Insider, October 17, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — A World Bank publication has found that standards at Universiti Malaya have fallen and the institution has been kept at a disadvantage because of race-based admission quotas and political interference in university management.



29 September 2011

World Teachers’ Day 2011

World Teachers’ Day, on 5 October, will be celebrated around the globe under the theme of ‘Teachers for Gender Equality’. Many education unions are already gearing up for the event by preparing actions that call for better and equitable working conditions, as well as demanding education systems that empower both girls and boys.

World Teachers’ Day commemorates the signing of the 1966 and 1997 UNESCO Recommendations on the Status of Teachers and Higher Education Teaching Personnel and EI invites everyone to join this celebration of millions of teachers who dedicate their time and energy to teaching children and adults.

Besides teachers in schools, World Teachers' Day also honours the academics in the universities.

For further information, click: http://www.ei-ie.org/en/news/news_details/1961/

07 July 2011

ACADEMIC RESEARCH ASSESMENT: Research Impact vs Research Product

This paper was presented by the General Secretary at the National Higher Education Symposium 2011 at ISTAC, IIUM, Kuala Lumpur on 23 June 2011 (Please see Pages)

28 April 2011

National Higher Education Symposium 2011

Conference Announcement:
National Higher Education Symposium 2011
22-23 June 2011


27 April 2011

NATURE Special: The future of PhD

Scientists attaining a PhD gain entry to an academic elite — but it's not as elite as it once was. More people are graduating with PhDs than ever before, and the growth shows no sign of slowing. Nature explores this and other issues surrounding the science PhD today and asks whether it needs reinvention.


20 April 2011

The Life and Death of Academic Freedom

Book Review: The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on Academic Freedom, and the End of the American University. Ellen Schrecker. New York: New Press, 2010.


16 April 2011

Education International Worlds of Education magazine

Articles featured in this issue range from early childhood to higher education and explore the attack on education union rights in the USA; the mobilisation of EI affiliates around the world to defend quality public education; a review of the EI-OECD Summit on the Teaching Profession; members’ activities to celebrate the 100th International Women’s Day, and an in-depth report on the shortage of teachers in India, as well as the wave of democratic and teachers' union uprisings in North Africa and Arab countries.The magazine also previews EI initiatives to protect migrant teachers’ rights, to promote health and safety in schools, as well as providing affiliates with information on how to participate in Global Action Week (May 2011) and EI’s World Congress in Cape Town (July 2011). http://download.ei-ie.org/Docs/WebDepot/Worlds%20of%20Education%2037-English.pdf

10 March 2011

Nature: Notes on a scandal

2 different reactions to academic misconduct in 2 different countries. What would be the reaction in Malaysia?


Nature, 471, 135–136 (10 March 2011)

18 February 2011

Nature: Egypt's youth 'key to revival'

Country's future depends on democracy, education and research reform, say scientists. Political patronage and nepotism are rife in senior university appointments. The suppression of human rights, and the poor conditions for science, have also led to a brain drain to the West, and more recently to Gulf states.


02 February 2011

23 January 2011

Globalisation: Mcdonaldlisation of Universities

Critics often speak of Westernisation or Americanisation and 'new imperialism' to describe the homogenising forces in higher education .This may be the case when certain models are imposed on countries, for instance by colonial powers or global institutions such as the World Bank. But in Southeast Asia - and in particular in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia - the adoption of global university models appears more organic or voluntary.


22 January 2011

Academe: A Practical Guide to Television and Radio Interviews

Don’t get into a heated battle with TV and radio hosts, as they can keep slamming you on the air after the interview. Maintain your integrity, of course, but do so politely. The hosts control nearly everything during the interview process. They can put you on “delay” or turn off your feed. About the only thing you can control is walking off the set or hanging up the phone. But again, the hosts can slam you for doing that.


06 January 2011

Nature: Citation bubble about to burst?

Rankings are heavily influenced by citations, but these represent little more than symbols. They are comparable to the less-than-worthless collateralized debt obligations that drove the recent financial bubble, and, unlike concrete goods and real exports, they are easy to print and inflate .............