KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal says the recent appointment of a new vice-chancellor for Universiti Malaysia Sabah shows Putrajaya still has a tendency to implement policies affecting the state without prior consultation
Shafie said this was why the university’s chairman KY Mustafa quit his post as chairman of the UMS board of directors on Aug 1.
Shafie said Mustafa had told him about his disappointment with the VC’s appointment.
“Although I am aware the VC’s appointment is the education ministry’s right, they also have to understand that the UMS administration has its own plans,” he said.
The appointment of Taufiq Yau Yun Hin as the UMS VC drew criticism from Sabah politicians, who said the federal government should have first consulted with the state on such appointments.
Shafie said he had also made known his disagreement to Education Minister Maszlee Malik.
“I told him ‘you should have consulted me’, that’s all. I know it’s his right but consultation must be done on how things are to be moved,” he told reporters at the state legislative assembly.
He said he would meet Sabah governor Juhar Mahiruddin, who is also the varsity’s chancellor, on Mustafa’s replacement.
Mustafa was the state secretary from 2000 to 2007, and was appointed as UMS chairman on Nov 1 last year for a three-year term.
Shafie said the state was also ignored when Putrajaya announced the air departure tax.
“We are already charging for arrivals and now guests will be taxed for departures. This should have been discussed first.
“Though it’s not our authority, but at least take some input from us to ensure we can blend it together and make the right decision,” he said.
Shafie however lauded Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for cooperating with Sabah, particularly in honouring state rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“But certain sectors must be given attention. Don’t take lightly the input from the state government. This should also be a reminder to federal agencies on how things happen at the state level.”
From Sept 1, air travellers will be imposed levies of between RM8 and RM150 depending on the destination and travel class.
The Departure Levy Bill 2019 was passed in April.