May 13, 1969 is imprinted in the hearts of Malaysians as the day that the racial riots occurred. The riots did not only prove to be a permanent black mark on Malaysian society but also changed the course of higher education. Soon enough, universities fell under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance No.74 in 1971 which was replaced by the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (Act 30) (UUCA). This act gave the Government the power to intervene in the maintenance and administration of universities. The 1975 amendment made to the UUCA added fuel to the fire, wiping out any shred of freedom universities had. Till today, these restrictions stirs many Government policies towards Higher Education. However, were Malaysian universities ever autonomous?