Malaysiakini Letter

A perspective on Maszlee's university appointment

JD Lovrenciear  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | It appears that critics, cynics and perhaps concerned netizens are all up and against the IIUA appointment of Education Minister Maszlee Malik as its president.

The arguments put forward are understandable.

Some feel there is a reason to suspect “vested interests”. Others say that the minister cannot be impartial in his decision-making as he may use his ministerial powers to favour IIUA.

And some even go the conclusive distance to pre-empt that Maszlee may be contradicting Pakatan Harapan's promise of liberating the hallways of higher education.

Let us think outside the box and not be blinkered by stereotyped reasoning.
Give the man some credit. He was a career academician before being drawn into the political arena.

Does being a minister mean that you would have lost all faculties of reasoning, fairness and the will to discern?

Surely, Maszlee is capable of exercising discernment given the fact that he is fully conscious of his power on the steering wheel of the education ministry.

In all things human, relationship-building is central to getting things done effectively. Trust is the outcome of all relationships.

And it is also very Asian to use relationships as a means to achieving healthy, vibrant and progressive good for humanity.

So if IIUA appoints Maszlee as their president - given his long years of association with the university, why must we discredit the university and the man himself?

Have Malaysians lost all belief in the power of humans to reason, exercise willpower and have the ability to demonstrate unquestionable responsibility in a prudent, transparent and accountable fashion?

Must we lump everything under “vested interests” and conclude that it is humanly impossible to function at arm's length when we have to wear two or more different hats given our abilities that are already on track record?

I personally do not see anything wrong in the minister serving as the president of the university.

We can only condemn him if he has failed to deliver. We can only charge someone guilty of failure based on his conclusive actions in the course of discharging his or her duty.

Otherwise, we will be caught in this perennial trap of belittling and discounting and thus being unable to unleash the power, capability and capacity of individuals.

It's time for Malaysians to break free from stereotyped judgements.

After all, we must give space to the minister whose passion was in education and in any case, what is so wrong in letting your alma mater to continue to tap on your abilities for the greater progress of education?

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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