To maintain credibility, NUS must respect academic freedom

Having studied at a local university, I have observed that students and even professors faced intimidation and retaliation when they attempted to discuss issues such as homosexuality.

Those holding and expressing conservative views were often ridiculed as ignorant or homophobic and subject to religiously offensive comments, while those who made such comments received no sanction.

I am thus disappointed with the National University of Singapore’s stance towards Associate Professor Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied. (“NUS professor acknowledges ‘poor judgment’ in posts on sexuality”; March 6)

Homosexuality is a contentious issue and it is important that we respect academic freedom when debating this matter. NUS’ restriction on academic freedom by censuring Assoc Prof Khairudin is antithetical to our development as a society, which depends on robust debate and critical inquiry.

NUS should rethink its policies if it sees itself as a respectable university in Asia and the world.

Source: Lam Jer-Gen, TODAYonline

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