Malaysian students studying in Australia have been warned their scholarships are under threat if they attend a lecture by democracy icon Anwar Ibrahim.
The one-time deputy prime minister and perennial opponent of the Malaysian government, feted around the world for his decades-long campaign for democracy and the rule of law, will speak this weekend at Adelaide’s Festival of Ideas.
For 15 years Mr Anwar has been a leading figure in the Malaysian opposition, and for 15 years he has been dragged in and out the courts on trumped-up charges of corruption, and more sensationally, sodomy.
He was beaten and gaoled until the sodomy charge was thrown out by the supreme court and he was released, only to be charged again in 2008. Again he was acquitted, but the Malaysian government wants him tried again.
Now, the government has warned Malaysian students that their scholarships are under threat if they attend Mr Anwar’s lecture.
An email from the student adviser at the Malaysian consulate in Sydney has warned students to make sure their scholarship “does not go down the drain”.
“Please refrain yourselves from further joining this activity. You are smarter to think and focus on what matters, rather than joining this activity that could make your hardship in maintaining good grades and earning the scholarship goes down the drain,” the email said.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to take stern action to those scholars who involved. You know really well what you’ve signed into.”
The email is signed “the one who cares,” student advisor Shahrezan Sheriff.
source: ABC News