Kuala Lumpur – Universiti Malaya (UM) student leader Fahmi Zainol’s forum in Penang today was disrupted by a group of hecklers who shouted to drown out his voice and those of other speakers, a news portal reported.
Fahmi told Malaysiakini that the agitators had told the participants of the forum to “go back and study first”, besides yelling accusations that they were “traitors” and a “disgrace” to Malays.
“The group was not satisfied with this and did not allow us to continue with the forum.
“We were not able to speak as they were shouting at us,” the UM student council (PMUM) president was quoted telling the news portal, confirming that they were not physically injured.
According to Malaysiakini, Fahmi claimed that two groups, Persatuan Mukabuku Pulau Pinang and Perkasa, were involved in the incident.
He reportedly said that these two groups had similarly stopped a Penang rally last month against the Sedition Act 1948 from continuing.
Organised by the student group Universiti Sains Malaysia Student Progressive Front (SPFUSM), the forum was initially set to take place within the university’s campus at 2pm, but it was stopped by the university authorities.
The news portal said the other speakers featured in the forum are PKR’s Bakar Arang state lawmaker Simon Ooi Tze Min and UM graduate Zainulfaqar Yaacob.
Fahmi said the yelling started after the forum was shifted to a coffeeshop outside of USM’s campus, also saying that the event which attracted a 50-strong crowd was later carried out uneventfully after it was shifted to another restaurant.
Fahmi first shot to nationwide fame for his student council’s role in organising a talk featuring Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim within UM’s campus grounds.
UM said the event was unauthorised and subsequently called Fahmi and seven other students — dubbed the UM8 — for a disciplinary hearing, with the second round to be conducted on November 18.
The final year student has also been asked by the Public Service Department (PSD) recently to explain his conduct, with the government department reminding him that it could terminate his scholarship and seek reimbursement.