It was such a wonderful Sunday morning when I read malaysiakini's report on the government's approval for Dr Edmund Terrence Gomez's application for a two-year secondment to head a prestigious United Nations research project.
However, what is more important is that UM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Hashim Yaacob (who had defended his decision to reject Gomez's application) realise that the government's action is really nothing more than his (Hashim's) constructive dismissal.
Any human resources executive would tell you that a public reversal of an employment decision made by a general manager is equivalent to a statement from the upper management that they have lost confidence in that manager. The right thing for that manager to do at this time would be to resign.
Sadly, the cultures and values promoted by the government do not provide a precedent for this move. And considering that the Gomez affair was not adequately reported by the 'official media' one supposes that the VC can comfort himself that his resignation would not be required.
With regards to Gomez's recent predicament, I should congratulate malaysiakini for keeping at it despite sometimes approaching a point when one thought it was all over.
At the same time, I think a person of Gomez's stature probably belongs somewhere where it can benefit a wider audience. I hope he will reflect on this and more before deciding to return to Universiti Malaya.