Ex-servicemen defend appointment of military man to education council

National Patriots Association president Mohamed Arshad Raji.

PETALING JAYA: The National Patriots Association (Patriot) today defended the appointment of a military officer to the new National Education Advisory Council (MPPK), calling it “narrow thinking” to assume that only experts in education matters should be part of the group.

It said Brig-Gen Yusri Anwar was academically qualified for the role and had vast military experience in the areas of command and leadership, management, strategic planning and motivation.

It also noted that his 36-year career in the military included several overseas attachments as an instructor and defence attache.

“An officer who rose through the ranks and held varied appointments, including dealing with foreign authorities, is sure to be someone capable and full of experience,” Patriot president Brig Gen (Ret) Mohamed Arshad Raji said in a statement.

Arshad also urged Yusri to concentrate on the situation at the National Defence University of Malaysia which was allegedly seeing a decrease in academic standards.

Besides Yusri, the MPPK comprises former education director-general Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin, Parent Action Group for Education chairman Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, Royal Selangor chairman Yong Poh Kon, Khazanah Nasional education adviser Satinah Syed Saleh and academics Sukiman Sarmani and Ruzita Mohd Amin.

Arshad dismissed criticism from those who said the seven appointees lacked management experience in education matters, saying Education Minister Maszlee Malik already had all the advisers he needed from his ministry.

“What he needs most is the life experience from people of different fields that he can tap into to incorporate in his policies and implementation of projects,” he said.

He added that it was Maszlee’s prerogative to appoint those whom he could trust to the council.

“It is he alone who has to assume responsibility for all his policies and actions.”