By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
Public universities’ heads, including vice chancellors (VCs) who had openly campaigned for Barisan Nasional (BN) and failed to remain impartial during the 14th General Election (GE14), had been asked to vacate their positions.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the move is in line with the government’s wish to remove heads at government-linked companies and civil servants leaders who had campaigned aggressively for BN, including at universities.
“There are a lot of records of VCs and deputy VCs, especially those who had appeared in the media and had openly opposed Pakatan Harapan prior to GE14.
“Some of them even said our current prime minister (PM) was not capable to lead the government. There are also those who made U-turns and now trying to support the government of the day.
“We have met them and offered them to relinquish their positions willingly,” he said in Putrajaya yesterday.
“Contracts for those who will finish their terms will not be renewed. Meanwhile, for those who are still in service, we had given them the ultimatum to vacate their posts,” he said. Maszlee said the ministry can’t afford to have such academicians to lead institutions of higher learning.
He said the ministry will also ensure future VC and deputy VC appointments to be made free from political influence.
“We will make sure that only those who are qualified will be given the post. We will take the recommendation from the universities’ board and the minis- try before calling the candidates for interviews,” he said.
Earlier this month, PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad indicated that the government is facing loyalty issues with civil servants who actively campaigned for BN.
Dr Maszlee said the move would also halt any attempt to prevent the new government from fulfiling its promises.
Meanwhile, Maszlee announced that public universities are not bounded to implement the Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average Assessment programme which was introduced under the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025.
Maszlee said the programme had diverted teaching staff from their main role of teaching, conducting research, writing theses, supervising students and serving the community.
“The decision was made after consultations and exchanges with academicians and students. It takes effect immediately,” he said.
The ministry also announced the establishment of a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) committee which will be chaired by Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.
Nurul Izzah said the TVET would not be a programme for “school dropouts”, but instead could be uplifted to the post-graduates level.
“We wish to see it reaching about the levels in other countries like Germany and Austria,” she said.