Maszlee Given 7 Days To Resign After A Meeting With Student Activists At A Mamak

Netizens called the student activists "disrespectful" for not accepting a bottle of water from the Education Minister.

Gabungan Pembebasan Akademik (GPA) IPT, a student activist group, has given Dr Maszlee Malik seven days to resign from his role as president of the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)

Student activist Asheeq Ali (in the red shirt) with Dr Maszlee Malik.

Image via Berita Harian

Asheeq Ali Sehi Alvivi, president of GPA-IPT was one of the two student activists arrested last week for protesting against Dr Maszlee Malik's appointment as president of IIUM.

Asheeq said that more students will be mobilised to go against the Education Minister as he is violating the principle of university autonomy that Pakatan Harapan has promised in their manifesto, as reported by The Star.

Asheeq added that all they want is for universities to be free of political interference.

Both parties were not able to come to an agreement despite a two-hour meeting with over 20 student activists at a restaurant in Jalan Pantai Baru

"It was quite tense and we came to a dead end. So I decided to call off the discussion," said Asheeq, as reported by Free Malaysia Today.

During the meeting, Asheeq allegedly refused to accept a bottle of water from the Education Minister

Image via Nan Yang

According to Nan Yang, Dr Maszlee gave a bottle of water to Asheeq but the student activist allegedly refused "rudely", making the scene awkward.

Dr Maszlee defended his position, saying that it was not his decision

"IIUM does not fall under this act and the board is free to appoint anyone it feels is the best person to hold the position... So, my appointment is not a violation of that law," Dr Maszlee said, as reported by New Straits Times.

He also mentioned that it was the Prime Minister who recommended him for the position, to which the head of constitution, Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang consented to. 

"Not all of them (claims made by the student activists) can be done instantly, as there has to be some discussion between the stakeholders before reaching a decision concerning me relinquishing my position," he added, according to Malay Mail.

One of Dr Maszlee's visions is to turn IIUM into the Oxford of Asian countries

It is also reported that he said that he was appointed with a mission to improve the university, and therefore would be irresponsible if he were to reject.

"It is my personal vow to bring IIUM back to its glory days after their recent performances have been less than satisfactory; after that has been carried out, I will step down," he said during a press conference after the meeting with the student activists, as reported by Malay Mail.

PPBM chief strategist Rais Hussin said Dr Maszlee's appointment as president is only temporary

According to Free Malaysia Today, Rais was responding to the critics who said Dr Maszlee should have refused the position.

"With Maszlee’s appointment as the IIUM president only slated for three years, that is the transitional period I am talking about (in the manifesto)," he said.

Rais added that Dr Maszlee is very passionate about IIUM and that there are unique situations that the education minister needs to address.

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