Professor Mohd Redzuan Othman said today the pressures he faced in heading the Universiti Malaya Centre for Democracy and Elections (Umcedel) is the issue, not his removal as dean at the UM Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
“So far (Education) ministry secretary-general II (Zaini Ujang) is only touching about the dean's post. The dean's post is not an issue.
“He did not touch on Umcedel. The issue is Umcedel,” Redzuan said in a brief text message to Malaysiakini when asked about a report on the issue in The Star today.
The English daily quoted Education Ministry secretary-general II Zaini Ujang (left) as denying that the ministry had asked Redzuan to resign following the ending of his term as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
Redzuan resigned as head of Umcedel, which he founded, following pressures from the ministry after the polls findings by it, some of these on general elections and by-elections, did not please the ruling BN government.
As a result of this, former deputy higher education minister Saifuddin Abdullah, in solidarity with Redzuan, resigned as a senior research fellow with UM, as a sign of protest over what was done to Redzuan.
Redzuan was scheduled to serve as Umcedel director from Feb 26, 2012, until Dec 31, 2014.
Zaini told The Star that Redzuan's second term as Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences dean ended and that nobody had asked him to resign.
'Redzuan was due to retire early next year'
The ministry secretary-general II said Redzuan has completed two terms as dean and his term could not be extended as he was due to retire early next year.
Zaini said a term lasts for two or three years and normally a dean serve for two terms.
“The ministry had nothing to do with the resignation. It was just a normal process of completing a term,” he told the daily, adding the ministry was only involved in the appointment of a university’s vice-chancellor and deputy vice-chancellor.
“The rest, including professors and deans, are not in the ministry’s interest,” he said.
Several UM academicians, including UM Academic Staff Association president Dr Azmi Shahrom, have described the“interference” by the ministry as unacceptable.
Some news portals also reported Universiti Malaya as denying there was political interference that forced Redzuan to resign as the faculty dean.