To begin with, the writer, in his tweet dated 5/11/2015 alleged that he was dismissed from Universiti Malaysia Perlis. He also attached a letter from the university authorities dated 8/9/2015, informing him of the non-renewal of his contract service which expired on 4/8/2015. So much for his honesty and integrity in his narrative.
Is it therefore any surprise that a colleague who first shared the asiasentinel article with me was put off after reading the initial few lines?
It would seem that his source, a former vice-chancellor (VC), probably had an axe to grind. His VC source was very likely a political VC appointee of the previous BN minister of education. Back then, meritocracy was virtually an unknown entity, and the VC selection process was based on “who you know” and not on “what you know”.
The selection of VCs has changed since the days of the BN rule. After various feedback from academia and a town hall session in mid July 2018, a new selection process and system were introduced.
The MOE’s independent VC Selection Committee made their recommendations based on a set of core criteria namely, academic excellence, meritorious scholarship, visionary and intellectual leadership.
To suggest the selection process was instead hijacked by the candidate’s religiosity and affiliation with the minister, other religious personalities or groupings is damning the impartiality and wisdom of the esteemed members of the VC Selection Committee.
The Malaysian Academic Movement (Gerak) in no uncertain terms debunked similar suggestions made by Sabahan political parties upon the appointment of Prof Taufik Yap Yun Hin’s as Universiti Malaysia Sabah’s (UMS) VC.
In their 11 August 2019 press release they stated; “Gerak knows of the quality and integrity of individuals in the (VC) committee and stands by their decision.”
The allegations of the writer smacks of disinformation and malice, let alone being “Evidence Based Research”.
Prof Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon, the newly appointed chairman of UPM’s Board of Directors, in his immediate response to the malicious article wrote; “But for the writer or anyone to allege that I am a loyalist to the former Education Minister, IKRAM etc shocked me beyond belief. The writer is nothing but the best of a SLANDERER that I have known. I leave the matter to Allah, the Supreme Creator and Supreme Judge.”
Unlike the writer, I took the trouble to do a little bit of homework to track the affiliations of the 26 alleged “members of Ikram that Maszlee appointed to Malaysian public universities.”
According to Ikram sources, only six (23%) of those appointed by Dr. Maszlee are registered as members of Ikram. The rest are probably scratching their heads wondering when they filled the Borang Keahlian Ikram! The accusation that the Minister had been favoring and appointing Ikram members is therefore an outright lie.
Probably the only grain of truth in the writer’s long diatribe against Ikram is his suggestion that the; “Ikram leadership, which also appears to be strongly aligned with the Pakatan Harapan government.”
Since the historical electoral events of May 2018, elements of the “deep state” have been on overdrive to malign and undermine the PH government efforts towards nation re-building.
The education ministry, then under Maszlee Malik was a soft and oft-target of these despicable characters and their accomplices. Besides, the Education Ministry sits on a gold mine, RM64.1 billion to be exact, which under Maszlee’s minister-ship, none of these scumbags and cronies could smell a penny.
Virtually all the funds were disbursed towards the transformation of the educational infrastructure including wiring them with fast and reliable ICT infrastructure to enhance digital teaching and learning.
Only after his resignation were his detractors, who were foolishly obsessed with the paradigm of black shoes, Khat and Jawi, became cognizant of the overwhelming success of his on the grounds reforms which had benefitted the school going children, university students, relieved the teachers of irrelevant clerical tasks, pleased the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) and Parent-Teachers Associations.
Most importantly, the core values of happiness, love and mutual respect (which is so much missing among the many supposedly adult Malaysians) were being mainstreamed as a pre-requisite towards rejuvenating a harmonious and muhibbah future Malaysia.
Ikram, then Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) in the 1970s, had invested big time in the educational sector and have built educational institutions from pre-school to university and medical school programs. As suggested by the writer, they were aligned with the PH and therefore were a natural partner of the ex-minister in his mission and vision to reform the nation’s educational landscape.
Like us in the Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF), Ikram was one of the founding members of Gabungan Bertindak Malayisa (GBM) aka Plan Of Action for Malaysia (POAM) which is a closely knitted coalition of over 25 NGOs from various ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds united and committed to address the critical challenges facing 21st century Malaysia and working together to nurture trust and mutual respect of the other, to harness the potential of the various communities, to inspire a common national goal and to achieve a harmonious co-existence which would enhance national growth and prosperity for all.
Ikram’s Zaid Kamaruddin is currently the chairman of GBM, which truly is a microcosm of Malaysia. And most recently, to defuse the war of words over Jawi, GBM organized the “Forum Jawi: Saling Memahami” which among others was attended by the now Director General of the MOE, who according to the chairperson of the Forum “very kindly came down to speak (at very short notice) at the Jawi Forum we organized, and impressed many with her professionalism”.
The writer’s unveiled attempt to frame Ikram as an extremist organization bent on a crusade of Islamisation and proselytisation is yet another machination of the “deep state” through its servile agents to abuse the religious narrative to destabilize the nation.
It wasn’t too difficult to expose and debunk the religious non-sense promulgated by this news portal. They were also reporting on a load of medical non-sense. Our medical colleagues in Prince Court Medical Centre suffered gross injustice with irresponsible journalism from the same news portal.
I would therefore advise all readers to be wary of news emanating from this particular news portal.
Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin
Muslim Professionals Forum