KUCHING, Sept 7 ― Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said today his appointment as president of the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) was not against Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto.
He also said he will consult the Sultan of Pahang and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad before accepting the post.
“I need to consult them because it is not within my power to determine anything,” he told reporters after paying a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg here.
He said the appointment comes from the Sultan of Pahang, being the head of IIUM.
He said he will seek an audience with the Sultan to listen to his views on the appointment.
Maszlee said his appointment will not be against the Pakatan Harapan's election manifesto as claimed by groups and individuals opposing him holding the post.
“It is going to be if I elect myself to be the head of public universities because they have different structures from IIUM's,” he said.
He said when an education minister becomes president of IIUM, he does not receive any allowance or another forms of perks and salary.
“But if other people were to hold the post, they receive allowances, monthly salary, free car and other perks, all in all totalling about RM500,000 a year.
Maszlee stressed that the appointment of an education minister to hold the post is nothing new.
He said when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was the education minister, he was the president of IIUM and his successor Datuk Seri Najib Razak also held the post.
“Firstly, IIUM is not under the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971, unlike public universities like Universiti Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia and other public universities in the country.
“It is has its own governance, structure and laws. Its board members consist of foreign ambassadors or representatives of foreign countries while the ceremonial post of president comes from Malaysia,” he said.
He said the board members of public universities, on the other hand, are appointed by the federal government.
“So if I accept it, I am going to work with zero cost. This is not good for me, extra burden with no income. Nobody wants to do it. Only Pakatan federal government will do it,” he said.
On the objections expressed by groups and individuals against his appointment, he said he appreciates their concerns.
He said it shows that the people are showing their concern on education in the country.