SERDANG: The Joint Councils of Presidents and Honorary Secretaries of the Malaysian Universities Staff Union (Gakum) has lambasted a move by the Education Ministry to terminate the services of the chairmen of five public universities.
Gakum president Zulkifli Mohamad said the decision to terminate the high-ranking office bearers was unfair and was made in haste. He said the five people, who comprised those who were either chairman or members of their respective university board of directors, are academicians who were not involved in politics.
He said the decision caused worry among public universities staff, and it affected the daily operations and welfare of staff.
Zulkifli said that Gakum sympathised with what had happened to the five people who are experts in their respective fields, but he insisted that they were not involved in politics.
“They were appointed under the previous administration. Their termination has affected the administration of welfare of staff at these universities.
“We received complaints from all 20 public universities, which expressed their worry and they are uncomfortable in carrying out their duty now.
“In this regard, we urge the Education Minister to review the decision. Gakum hopes that the ministry will temporarily stop the termination of contracts,” said Zulkifli after chairing a Gakum special meeting in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) here today.
Also present was Gakum advisor and former Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) president Datuk Omar Osman.
The Malaysian Insight had reported about the termination of five public universities chairmen.
It was reported that among those affected were Tun Zaki Azmi from Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Tan Sri Sufri Mohd Zin from Universiti Tun Hussein Onn, Datuk Dr Kamaruddin Hussin from Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Tan Sri Noorul Ainur Mohd Noor from Universiti Sains Malaysia and Tan Sri Anuwar Ali from UPM.
Their termination letters were issued on July 23 and were signed by Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.
Maszlee had sad that the five public universities chairmen were political appointees of the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government, and their termination was done to ensure the reformation process of institutions by Pakatan Harapan (PH) will not be disrupted.
Zulkifli said the ministry need to replace the five university chairmen to ensure that the running of the varsities would continue unhindered. He said the decision should have been discussed with Gakum.
He said that Gakum were requesting that a meeting with Maszlee could be held soon to discuss issues, especially those which affected the organisation.
“We submitted a letter to the minister about a month ago, but have yet to receive any response.
“Gakum hopes that the meeting could be held soon to allow us to seek clarification and views on certain matters,” he said.