KUALA LUMPUR: Education Minister Maszlee Malik has agreed to step down as International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) president.
An aide to the minister told the New Straits Times Press that Maszlee had agreed to do so pending his replacement with a suitable candidate.
“He is in the middle of appointing someone to replace him. However, the process will take time, since consent is needed from the prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) and the Sultan of Pahang (Sultan Ahmad Shah),” he said in a phone conversation.
He said Maszlee decided to delay his resignation until the end of its four-day convocation ceremony, which begins on Saturday.
“It (IIUM) still needs a president, and after the convocation the process of replacement will take place. It is a matter of due process,” the aide added.
The news comes days after Wan Saiful Wan Jan abruptly resigned as the special adviser to Maszlee.
It was earlier reported that the Sultan of Pahang, who is the constitutional head of IIUM had named Maszlee, who had previously taught in the university, as its president.
However, the decision did not sit well with some student groups, who said it was against the coalition’s promise not to put politicians in charge of academic institutions.
Free Malaysia Today also claimed that Cabinet members had recently echoed calls by the student groups for Maszlee to vacate the post. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd