COMMENT | The appointment of Perak PKR chairperson Muhammad Nur Manuty (above) to the leadership of Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin's (Unisza) board of directors raised a number of eyebrows, especially as it follows Education Minister Maszlee Malik's controversial appointment as International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) president.
Perhaps this is a good time to think on the distribution of talent in Malaysia and the nature of political involvement.
Let’s start by stating some of our more obvious overarching goals.
We clearly do not want the BN situation, where people were appointed to lead universities, government-linked companies (GLCs) and such, purely based on their loyalty to the people in power.
Such appointees were then expected to lead their institutions only in a manner which served the interests of their political masters. This unsurprisingly created a stinking mess.
In universities, it led to a culture of suppressing any type of student dissent, and clamped down on academic freedom as well as the development of critical thought, all in the name of furthering BN’s interests.
Needless to say, no one wants to go back to those dark ages...