My unjust and abrupt dismissal

P Ramasamy

Published
Modified 29 Jan 2008, 10:21 am

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in a letter dated July 27, 2005 terminated my contract of employment as a professor in the Centre for History, Political Science and Strategic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities with effect from Aug 26, 2005.

Following my mandatory retirement on May 10, 2005, I was put on a month-to-month contract for two years (May 10, 2005 to May 9, 2007) subject to the approval of the University's Board, Public Services Department, Department of Higher Education and University's Management (letter dated May 31, 2005).

This abrupt/arbitrary and unjust termination of my contract goes against the normal practice and policy of UKM that allows for the retention of senior professors until the age of 65 through the provision of two-year contracts.

A professor who wishes to be retained by the University after his/her retirement at the age of 56 must publish and present his/her monograph as Syarahan Perdana (inaugural/professorial address) in a ceremony.

For those who have not completed their Syarahan Perdana, the university often provides generous and conditional extensions before they could present their inaugural address. For the past 10 years or so, the university has given a number of extensions for professors who had not completed their inaugural address. However, the policy on extension of services after retirement is replete with loopholes and contradictions; there have been cases of senior professors who have been given extension without meeting this requirement. Beyond this, even lecturers, especially those without their PhD have been given generous extensions after their retirement.

I delivered my Syarahan Perdana on March 11, 2005, even before my official retirement. Initially, the university refused to provide an extension of contract, without assigning any reasons.

When I found out that the former dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities was not objective in the evaluation of my application, I had no choice but to appeal the matter to the vice-chancellor. Apparently, the university upon realising the arbitrary decision of the former dean overturned his decision and provided me with a month-to-month contract for two years, subject to the approval of the above stated bodies. However, I was hardly three months into my post-retirement contract when the university very arbitrarily terminated my contract.

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