KOTA KINABALU: The appointment of the new Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) vice-chancellor by the education ministry has been criticised by local parties Warisan and Upko but a Sabah PPBM youth leader believes it is the right decision.
Sabah PPBM Armada deputy chief Ceasar Mandela Malakun welcomed the appointment of Prof Taufiq Yap Yun Hin.
“Taufiq is a local Sabahan and as a Chinese Muslim, he is the embodiment of the multi-ethnic and multi-religious ethos that we hold so highly in Sabah.
“He is also a qualified academician, winning several awards in his field of study besides being appointed as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK in 2018, a recognition that Sabahans should be proud of,” he said.
Ceasar, who is also the state Armada higher institutes of education and graduate bureau chief, said Sabahans should support the appointment.
He said Education Minister Maszlee Malik had made a good decision in appointing Taufiq.
Taufiq, 51, a doctorate holder in Heterogeneous Catalysis, is the new UMS vice-chancellor, effective today, replacing D Kamarudin D Mudin, who served as the vice-chancellor from June 18, 2017 to last Sunday – a year short of a three-year term.
Ceasar pointed out that Taufiq’s appointment was in contrast to several key appointments made by the state government which elevated non-Sabahans to key positions.
“Not too long ago, an appointment of a president of one of the municipal councils who was a non-Sabahan was shocking as heads of state agencies are supposed to be from the state civil service and should have been Sabahans.
“Now that the federal government is appointing Sabahans to top posts, there should be nothing to complain about,” he said.
Ceasar was commenting on Chief Minister Shafie Apdal’s remark that the education ministry did not consult the state government over the appointment.
Upko vice-president Lucas Umbul also criticised the decision, saying the Pakatan Harapan government was insulting Sabahans as the state government was not consulted on the matter.
Ceasar reminded those who were unhappy with the decision that while the state could submit proposals, the decision remained in the hands of the federal government.
“Let us move on and let the well-qualified academician do his job at UMS to ensure that a Sabahan university can produce world-class graduates,” he said.