An Umno leader has questioned the government's commitment to separate politics from varsities after Education Minister Maszlee Malik was appointed as the president of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).
Reezal Merican Naina Merican said Maszlee should reconsider accepting the appointment as the new IIUM president.
"Upon scrutiny, it would appear the appointment contradicts his commitment to free universities from political interference," the Umno supreme council member said in a statement today.
Reezal pointed out that Maszlee's current portfolio as education minister also meant that the latter already has a lot on his plate.
"Even though the position of (IIUM) president may be ceremonial instead of operational - it should still be filled by someone more qualified who can dedicate their time and attention specifically to the position," he said.
The Kepala Batas MP noted that there were numerous suitable candidates from within the ranks of IIUM for the post.
"Maszlee has the potential to reform the national education system if he is not distracted by additional responsibilities.
"We hope that he can focus on his current duties and not try to justify the rationale of accepting the appointment as the new IIUM president," Reezal added.