Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad was reappointed as the Minister of Higher Education by the Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri after he announced this cabinet line-up last Friday (27 August).
However, this was not well received by the students from Universiti Malaya (UM) has they took to Facebook to slam her return as the Minister of Higher Education. The group also claimed that she had failed to resolve the several issues faced by them throughout her first tenure.
The group, Universiti Malaya Students’ Union (UMSU) highlighted the irony of her appointment when the Ministry under her lead had been problematic in the past year and a half.
In the statement, they pointed out how many students in the new intake in October last year could not return home when the ministry suddenly postponed face-to-face registrations just one day prior.
“This was a problem as the announcement did not take into account how many students from other states were there at the campus for registration and would not be able to stay in the college.” they said.
In addition, the students involved were forced to bear their own costs to return to their homes.
“Students from Sabah and Sarawak were also forced to spend hundreds of ringgit on Covid-19 RT-PCR tests that should have been provided for by the government.” they said.
Apart from that, Noraini had failed to abolish the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA), which the Act is used to stifled students’ freedom of speech and curbed the autonomy of student bodies.
“For the sake of this nation’s tertiary students, we urge the prime minister to appoint a new higher education minister. One who has the vision and willingness to serve students’ interests.”
“This post should not be given at a whim just to any politician. We want a minister who will work for the welfare of students. He or she should also have a vision, be capable of forming contingency plans, and be aware of students’ welfare.” they said.
UMSU then said that the reappointment of Noraini as the Minister of Higher Education is not consistent with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s commitment to involve the younger generation in the country’s economic process.
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Read the statement from UMSU here: