Central Government ‘hungry’ for praise, restricts academic freedom

SHAH ALAM, 3 July: The Central Government’s move of asking the Director of the University of Malay Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMCEDEL), Prof Dr Mohamad Redzuan Othman, to resign is because his studies favour the opposition, proving that the government leaders are hungry for praise and hate advise or criticism.

The Political Science lecturer from the National University of Malaysia (UKM), Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Agus Yusoff, said that he too agrees with the allegations by some quarters claiming that the move shows that the academic freedom in this country is restricted.

“The actions from the report show that our academic freedom is restricted. This is because we cannot disagree with the opinions and desires of the government.


“I also know that many government leaders are hungry for praise and hate criticism, even though the criticism is merely a difference of views.

“It has not happened to me yet, but for my friends, many of them have chosen to be silent. They do not want their career or life to have problems.

“They would always say: Why should we oppose the government? The government only wants praises. Therefore, if we do not want to praise and uplift the government, it is better to stay silent,” he said on his Facebook page.

Agus is of the opinion that the government cannot be always praised without solid arguments because criticism does not only lie in the hands of the opposition, but it is the duty of academics to complement it for the sake of developing the nation.

“For the appointment of deans, hopefully the Vice Chancellor will appoint academics who can provide knowledge leadership. A lot of the country’s money has been spent to make our universities among the 100 best in the world. But, it has yet to be achieved.


“Why has it not been achieved? What went wrong? Is there a connection with academic freedom?

“I leave this question to the National Professors Council to look into it in their next research,” he said.

Recently, Mohamad Redzuan was asked by the Education Ministry to resign as the Director of UMCEDEL and his position as dean was not renewed.

Meanwhile, the former Deputy Higher Education Minister, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, resigned as a Senior Research Fellow at UM as a sign of solidarity with the removal of Mohamad Redzuan.


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