will be debated during the university's Malaysian Society’s annual general meeting (AGM) on March 16.A motion to remove Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s portrait from an alumni board at Nottingham University in the United Kingdom
The committee of the University of Nottingham Malaysian Society said in a statement that it saw no reason to prevent Cassandra Chung’s motion from being debated as it was non-partisan and should not be a detriment to the interests of its members.
"We are also obliged by the students' union policy regarding the freedom of thought and expression to allow Cassandra to propose and debate her motion at our AGM.
"The committee also understands that a decision regarding whether or not to remove the portrait of our Prime Minister by our society cannot be accurately represented by only the committee and this is another reason why the motion is required to be debated during the AGM to accurately reflect the sentiments and opinions of the members of our society,” it said.
The statement was posted on the committee's Facebook page yesterday.
"The committee recognises the society’s final stand on the motion should be decided by the vote of our members during the debate and therefore the committee greatly urge all our members to take notice of this and to attend the AGM to cast a vote on this matter,” it said.
On Thursday, Chung started a petition at www.change.org, aimed at the university’s Malaysian Society to lobby the institution to remove Najib’s portrait from a wall at its King’s Meadow campus.
Chung said the petition was “an expression of a collective act of disagreement on the prime minister refusing to answer for the suspicious circumstances surrounding the transfer of the RM2.6 billion into his account”.
The petition has garnered almost 4,000 signatures, exceeding the requested number of 100 signatures.
The committee also said they were against any threat of violence against Chung and her family, after it was reported that Chung faced online threats, with some people urging the government to strip her of her citizenship.
"The committee understands that many parties are keeping an eye on this issue and would like to apologise if any of our words or views expressed have affected them in any way but the committee would like to maintain that the society is non-partisan and will remain unbiased throughout the handling of this issue.
"We are therefore obliged to allow the motion to be debated during our society’s AGM on the 16th of March 2016."
The committee also added that its members were not involved in the creation of the petition or the proposal of the motion and noted that Chung was also not affiliated to any political party.
“With regard to the proposal of the motion, we did not at any time suggest, assist, imply or adviser her in the proposal of the motion and it was her decision to propose it,” the committee said.
"Her petition is one that is calling for an act that will symbolise a need for accountability on the part of the prime minister who is a figure that represents at best the citizens of a country.
"Nowhere in Cassandra’s petition or motion does the committee find a statement by her supporting or attacking any specific political party.” – March 13, 2016.