KUALA LUMPUR: Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik will meet up with a group of students protesting against his appointment as International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) president at his office on Wednesday.
Maszlee said he gave his assurance to meet up with the students as soon as possible to listen to their concerns.
“I could not meet the group’s demands to meet up right away and to fulfil their demands for me to resign as IIUM president as I am currently in Sarawak for a working visit,” he said in a statement via his Facebook and Twitter accounts today.
Initially Maszlee said he was informed that all involved were students, but detailed information showed there were also activists from several non-governmental organisations.
He said while protesting at the ministry’s Block E8 area, the ministry’s officials were instructed to ensure the welfare of the group was taken care of including holding discussions with the police in Putrajaya to release two of those detained for questioning and both were released on bail earlier today.
Meanwhile, the IIUM expressed its readiness to accept any decision by the government pertaining to Maszlee’s appointment as its seventh president.
IIUM Rector, Prof Tan Sri Dr Dzulkifli Abdul Razak said IIUM would be in agreement with the decision finalised by the government after the issue was reviewed.
“That is the right of the government and the ministry ... not our (university) right, it is up to them to study the appointment of Maszlee as they surely have reasons to do so.
“Regardless who will be appointed as president, IIUM will uphold the pledge to be free from any political interference.
“… and whoever to be appointed as president must deliver the pledge and not to deny it,” he told Bernama when met after officiating the International Conference on Malay Medical Manuscript 2018 (ICOMMM 2018) at the Malaysian Islamic Arts Museum, today.
On Wednesday, Maszlee was appointed as the seventh IIUM president to replace Tan Sri Rais Yatim and it had sparked controversy as critics started to question his credibility as well as conflict of interest as he has already held a cabinet post as Education Minister. - Bernama © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd