UM Student Group Calls For VC Abdul Rahim To Resign For Being "Weak, Vain & Incompetent"

The group has accused Universiti Malaya (UM) vice-chancellor Abdul Rahim of covering things up about a sexual harassment case at the hands of a lecturer.

Cover image via New Straits Times

University of Malaya Association of New Youth (UMANY), a student group, has called for the resignation of UM vice-chancellor Abdul Rahim Hashim for allegedly being "weak, vain, and incompetent"

The student group said that the manner in which the UM VC has tried to cover up students' claims about sexual harassment at the hands of a lecturer shows that he is "incompetent, if not a hypocrite".

Abdul Rahim, UMANY said in a statement, "had been brave and bold to lodge police reports against students of University Malaya when they protested against racism".

"Now, the question is, why can't he do the same when students of Universiti Malaya become victims of sexual harassment at the hands of a lecturer? Why cover things up?"

The group said that this sends out "a clear signal that our Vice-Chancellor is weak" and urged for such a VC to resign to "make room for organisational reforms" in the Integrity Unit and Disciplinary Committee.

Only when the root of the cause is addressed, can there be a change in UM.

The demand for VC Abdul Rahim's resignation comes after he said that while the UM management has taken action against the disgraced lecturer, he cannot divulge information regarding the punishment

According to the VC, the information was protected by the Personal Data Protection Act.

However, UMANY has since condemned Abdul Rahim for making "a shameless statement".

"We opine that the UM management should make a public announcement telling the students the final verdict of this sexual harassment case. However, justice was sacrificed, most probably in a final struggle to safeguard whatever remaining reputation the university now holds," read the statement.

The UM student group claimed that despite there being several students whom the disgraced lecturer had preyed on, the UM management only demoted the lecturer.

According to UMANY, such a punishment can only have so little effect on the lecturer — who has since retired — and "still has a high-income payroll" to live off the rest of his life comfortably.

"Has justice been served? Or will others follow suit by making use of such a procedural loophole?"

The student who lodged a police report against the lecturer.

Image via Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

The group claimed that the UM management has utterly failed in giving a verdict that will act as a deterrence for future offenders

"It would not even be able to stop the perpetrator from seeking revenge and re-committing the crime again. This shows that there is a severe problem in our university system," UMANY said.

In the statement, the group accused the UM management of worrying more about its "reputation" than it did about the safety and welfare of its students who had been sexually harassed by the lecturer.

This is wrong and disgraceful.

"To protect the reputation of the university, the VC can even resort to such lies, with hopes that this case would eventually die down. Does this indirectly tell us, that there something "fishy" about this case?"

It's not the first time students have demanded his resignation.

Last year, a UM graduate started a movement against him, following his racially-charged speech at the recent Malay Dignity Congress:

Earlier this month, an MRSM teacher's victim blaming views led to thousands of Malaysians signing a petition seeking his removal:

Following which, All Women's Action Society released a statement: