COMMENT When I got into trouble following my comments on the Selangor sultan's way dealing with Damansara Utama Methodist Centre in October 2011, it was Saifuddin Abdullah who intervened.
He was the then deputy higher education minister.
Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) suspended me and did not allow me even to enter my own office. This prompted the students - most of whom were not my students - to put up a huge demonstration.
Saifuddin (right) asked the university to revoke the order and even Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak did not say anything.
Funnily enough, Saifuddin was later not allowed to take part in a forum organised by UIA students.
Both Saifuddin and Mohamad Redzuan Othman happened to be former students of Universiti Malaya’s Department of History. Redzuan is a professor of history.
Sometime after 1999 elections UM also put Jomo KS (below) - the economics professor - in cold storage because of his views and I guess his involvement with Barisan Alternatif (led by PAS’ Fadzil Mohd Noor).
Eventually he left. Then we have Terence Gomez, Jomo's former student and colleague. He is still with UM nonetheless.
We have seen the same thing in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). P Ramasamy, the political science professor, had to leave shortly before 2008 when life became tough for him in the university.
The same thing happened to Shaharir Mohd Zain, the mathematics professor who openly criticised the teaching of science and mathematics in English (PPSMI).
The government also applied pressure on those vice-chancellors who tried to be independent.
A case in point was that of Universiti Putra Malaysia's (UPM) Zohadie Bardaie who could not get along with Shafie Salleh, the higher education minister during Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration. Zohadie was an engineering professor.
To a certain extent Chandra Muzaffar was also a victim. The political scientist had to leave Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in late 1980’s due to his views, as well as his involvement with NGO Aliran.
ABDUL AZIZ BARI is a law professor at Universiti Selangor.