PETALING JAYA: A military veterans’ group has backed Putrajaya’s call for the resignations of vice-chancellors and deputy vice-chancellors who politically favoured the former Barisan Nasional government, citing various ills in public universities under their watch.
National Patriots Association president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji said if students are not doing well in academia, the blame should be on their vice-chancellor, lecturers and those in top management.
“When vice-chancellors work towards pleasing their political bosses, so do their heads of department, lecturers and management staff,” he said. “Promotions are not based on merit, but on the strength of their obsequiousness to the vice-chancellor,” he added in a statement today.
He said the higher education system had been afflicted by problems like plagiarism, low standard of English, lacklustre attitude among academics, and failure to instil integrity and honesty early in students.
“The mushrooming of our institutions of higher learning into an education hub to attract thousands of students from the Middle Eastern countries, Africa and other third world countries does not help but lower the standard of English which is necessary for writing essays and academic papers,” he said.
“Patriot still holds to the maxim that there are no bad soldiers, but only bad generals,” he added.
“Trained early in our military careers (in) the principles of good leadership, there was no room for any mistake as casualties would be inflicted and lives would be lost.”
Arshad also said Patriots endorsed the higher education reforms proposed by the Malaysian Academics Movement (Gerak), which included restructuring university administrations, abolishing or amending laws that stifle academic freedom, upholding meritocracy and reviewing academics’ key performance index.
Yesterday, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said he had conveyed to university heads the view of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad urging the resignations of those who had a record of opposing, or had been publicly known to oppose, the new Pakatan Harapan.
“Because there are too many records, especially those who appeared in the media, and some had questioned the prime minister’s age, the qualification of the current government and all that, but after midnight (on election day), they changed their tone,” he said.
“So we don’t want two-faced people like this,” he said, adding that only credible candidates should fill the vacancies and there should be no political appointments.