JOHOR BARU: The Johor government has rejected the Education Ministry’s proposal to set up an Islamic-based university from Indonesia at the Pagoh Higher Education Hub.
State Islamic Affairs and Education Committee chairman Aminolhuda Hassan said the ministry had suggested that Universiti Muhamadiyah Prof Dr Hamka (Uhamka) open a branch campus in Malaysia.
“However, after much deliberation, the Johor Islamic Religious Council (Maij) decided to reject the proposal.
“Maij made the decision last month in our meeting, but has yet to convey the matter to Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (pic) and his ministry,” he said when contacted here yesterday.
Aminolhuda said there were many reasons behind the rejection.
“Here, Muslims practise the sunni school of thought known as ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah, but the presence of Uhamka might cause rifts in the community,” he added.
Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim is also against the setting up of the university as Islamic matters are under the purview of Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.
“Secondly, this belief contradicts the fatwas in the state of Johor Darul Ta’zim.
“There will certainly be confusion and disputes among the masses, causing a rift among the Muslims here,” Aminolhuda said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.
It was reported that Dr Maszlee said Uhamka had agreed to open a branch campus in Malaysia during his visit to the hub with Pagoh MP and Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian last November.
He said this would be the university’s first campus here and could provide opportunities for Indonesian students to study in Malaysia.
According to Dr Maszlee, the university said it wanted to open a branch campus in Malaysia in July.
Currently, Uhamka has over 10,000 education staff handling 173 campuses located throughout Indonesia.
Out of the 173 campuses, 45 are universities while the rest are secondary schools, academics and polytechnics.