IPOH, June 22 — Pressure should not be placed on universities who criticise the current government or have differing political beliefs, Perak Amanah vice-chairman Muhaimin Sulam said today.
He said the freedom of universities should be respected, adding that any differing political beliefs expressed by universities should not result in pressure from the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
“We believe that the necessary space needs to be given to universities. This includes criticising the policies of the current government,” Muhaimin said in a statement today.
“Any pressure placed due to differing political viewpoints should not happen under the new government.”
Muhaimin’s statement comes after Education Minister Maszlee Malik assured Malaysians that the country’s universities would not be abused by anyone for political mileage.
Maszlee also said that vice-chancellors and deputy vice-chancellors of public universities who supported Barisan Nasional (BN) would be asked to resign.
Muhaimin said the fight to defend the freedom of universities should not be stopped even though the government had changed.
“One of the cores of scholarly pursuits in universities is the blooming and growth of ideas, which must be done in a free and responsible manner,” he added.
Muhaimin also said the government should not compromise on elements of ethically-suspect practices that were used to allow people to get better positions in universities.
“Universities are places where scholars polish their intellect and develop idealism. Merit must be based on scholarly achievements and the ability to administer a university,” he said.
“Activities with elements of brown-nosing and corruption should not be used as a ticket to get prime positions in our universities.”