Varsity to keep a closer eye on its students over IS link


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 22 Dec 2016

SHAH ALAM: A local private university here is monitoring its students more closely after Bukit Aman police arrested two of them for suspected links to the Islamic State.

Al-Madinah International University deputy rector of external affairs Dr Ab Ghani Mohamad confirmed that two of his foreign students were among the seven arrested recently.

“We are transparent in all our dealings, and will monitor the activities and movement of our students and staff more closely, so that we know as soon as possible if any of them are missing from classes, for example,” Ghani said.

He said both the suspects enrolled as full-time students at the university in September 2014 and February 2015 respectively.

He also said the university will work more closely with the police and immigration department as the two agencies are involved in screening foreign students and lecturers.

Ghani said a professor at the university first suspected something amiss when the two students who lived together failed to turn up for an exam.

The professor checked the student’s apartment, and was told by the security guard that uniformed men had come to arrest them.

He said the university received a telephone call from the Special Branch Counter Terrorism unit on Nov 7, notifying that the two had been detained on Nov 3. The university was later told that the duo had been deported.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had said that one of the two students from the university was investigated by a foreign authority for IS activities and for attempting to get security information of a private school in Kuala Lumpur.

The Al-Madinah International university was set up in 2007 following government-to-government cooperation between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

Ghani said Saudi Arabia provided assistance in the setting up of the private university in Malaysia and that the university is fully compliant will all rules and regulations set by local authorities such as the Higher Education Ministry and the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).

The university, which has taken up three floors in Wisma Masalam here, offers 118 programmes from diploma to PhD level in Islamic Sciences, languages, information technology and finance.

The university, which is open to Malaysian and foreign students, conducts its lessons online and in classrooms. It has more than 3,000 students and 71 teachers.

Ghani denied a newspaper report which claimed lecturers had included topics promoting extremism in their syllabus.

He said all of the university’s courses and syllabi were vetted and approved by MQA.

Following the publication of a newspaper report, the university checked with its staff and students and found that no lecturer had promoted any extremist views.

“We have sent a letter demanding an apology from the newspaper failing which we will take legal action,” said Ghani.

Several students, interviewed from the university said they were shocked over reports saying that the university was teaching extremism.

“My family and friends asked me if it was true but for as long as I have been studying I have never heard of any lecturer espousing any extremist views,” said third year student Ahmad Syazwan Zainal Ariffin.

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