KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 ― The appointment of Education Minister Maszlee Malik as the president of the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) was made by the Sultan of Pahang, Wan Saiful Wan Jan said today.
Wan Saiful, who is Maszlee’s special adviser in the ministry, told The Star that the Ruler made his choice as the constitutional head of the university.
“This shows the Sultan’s wisdom in making his choice, picking someone who knows the university inside out over and above everything else,” the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) politician was quoted as saying.
Sultan Ahmad Shah is the chancellor of the university.
Wan Saiful said his fellow party member is committed to restore IIUM to its former international glory.
“IIUM is his ‘home’ and he loves the university to bits. If you want to see IIUM excel again, there is no one better for the post,” the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) chairman reportedly said.
Yesterday, the IIUM Academic Staff Association posted a congratulatory message to Maszlee on his appointment on its official Facebook page, triggering controversy.
In addition to Maszlee, his political secretary Mohd Nizam Morad is also on the board of directors in Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).
The appointments have received flak from both political divide, with DAP’s Lim Yi Wei calling it a “clear conflict of interest” and Umno’s Khairy Jamaluddin accusing Maszlee of being “power hungry”.
UUM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Ahmad Bashawir Abdul Ghani told Malay Mail earlier today that Mohd Nizam was a member of the board of directors in his capacity as the UUM Alumni Association’s vice-president.
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