People Are Calling Out The Education Minister After He Was Appointed President Of IIUM

He had previously pledged to allow universities to "enjoy their autonomy".

Cover image via Malay Mail/Twitter (edited)

Education Minister Dr. Maszlee Malik was appointed president of the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) yesterday, 4 September

Malaysiakini reported that Maszlee became an academic at the university earlier this year before being elected as the Education Minister.

His appointment contradicts not only Pakatan Harapan's election manifesto, but also a speech he made months ago

In its election manifesto, Pakatan Harapan pledged to restore academic freedom in universities by "granting autonomy to these public institutions of higher learning". 

Moreover, Maszlee told New Straits Times in June that tertiary institutions will not be abused for political motives.

"We will never control and dictate to them (the universities) nor force them (to do anything). We really want the universities to enjoy their autonomy and cultivate academic freedom in their territory," Maszlee was quoted as saying by New Straits Times.

Maszlee's new appointment has drawn criticism from politicians

Former UMNO Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin as criticising Maszlee's appointment despite Pakatan Harapan's pledge to uphold academic freedom in tertiary institutions.

"I suggest Maszlee to reject his appointment as IIUM president. There are more work to be done as the Education Minister," Khairy wrote in a tweet earlier today.

Former Menteri Besar of Johor Datuk Khaled Nordin also commented on Maszlee's appointment.

"Why is this minister playing favourites with just one university? Does he have so much time to take care of this!" he wrote on Twitter.

Malaysiakini reported Democratic Action Party (DAP) assemblyperson Lim Yi Wei as urging Maszlee to relinquish his post as well. 

"As the highest-ranked politician in the Education Ministry, holding the highest position in a university is a clear conflict of interest," she said.

"Whether the president's role is executive or non-executive is immaterial. We should not be breaking our manifesto by using loopholes," she added.

Netizens also weighed in on Maszlee's appointment, calling for his resignation from the university

What do you think about Maszlee's appointment? Let us know in the comments below.

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