Dr M: Maszlee's IIUM post not set in stone, will review

Ida Lim
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference after a Pakatan Harapan meeting in Petaling Jaya September 7, 2018. ― Picture by Razak Ghazali

PETALING JAYA, Sept 7 ― Education Minister Maszlee Malik's appointment as the International Islamic University Malaysia’s (IIUM) president is not cast in stone yet, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

Dr Mahathir, who is also ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan chairman, said this appointment could be changed.

“About UIA, many gave their opinions... we are always sensitive to the views of the public.

“And we will review the appointment because this is not carved in stone, we can change our stand,” he told reporters after chairing a Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting.

The IIUM Academic Staff Association posted on September 4 a congratulatory message to Maszlee on his appointment on its official Facebook page, sparking controversy and objections that culminated in a protest today by a small group of university students outside the Education Ministry's Putrajaya headquarters.

Maszlee today said his appointment which comes from the Sultan of Pahang ― who heads IIUM ― does not go against the PH election manifesto.

Maszlee also noted that he would not receive any allowance or salary or perks if appointed IIUM president as an education minister, highlighting that there was precedent for such appointments.

He said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Najib Razak had held the same post when they were education ministers.

He said the combined cost including monthly salary, allowance and perks for an IIUM president who is not an education minister would come up to around RM500,000 annually.

But Maszlee said he will first consult both the Sultan of Pahang and Dr Mahathir before deciding whether to accept the post.

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