Noraini vows to bring higher education to another level

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 11 Mar 2020

Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad christening her office in Putrajaya, March 10, 2020. With her is Secretary-General Dr Mohd Ghazali Abas. -GLENN GUAN/The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Newly sworn-in Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad has pledged to bring the country’s higher education performance to the next level.

“I want to express my thanks to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for believing in me.

“We will try (our best) to achieve the goals entrusted by the Prime Minister,” said Noraini who spent her first day as Higher Education Minister visiting her new office.

She arrived at the Higher Education Ministry in Precinct 5, Putrajaya for the first time at 5.45pm yesterday.

She was met on arrival by Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Mohd Gazali Abas, deputy secretary-general (strategic planning) Datuk Kamel Mohamad, deputy secretary-general (operations) Mohd Azhan Md Amir, deputy secretary-general (development) Datuk Azizan Mohamad Sidin as well as Higher Education Department deputy director-general Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Saleh Jaafar.

Addressing members of the media, Noraini said she has not been briefed by Mohd Gazali.

“I just came in today (Tuesday) and have not been briefed by the secretary-general.

“After I am briefed, we will put our focus to bring Malaysia’s higher education performance to the next level, locally and internationally,” she told reporters after a walkabout held at her office, which is located on the 18th level – the highest floor of the building.

When asked about Muhyiddin’s move to split the Education Ministry, Noraini said: “As mentioned in his speech, splitting the Education Ministry into two separate entities can streamline work procedures and management.”

Noraini, 52, was sworn in as Higher Education Minister before Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah yesterday.

Meanwhile, Noraini has resigned as Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman.

The Parit Sulong lawmaker said she resigned from her PAC post as stipulated under Standing Order 77 (4), which says that “no member may be appointed or nominated to or act as chairman or member of the PAC while he is a minister”.

“I submitted my resignation letter to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff for all the cooperation and help given to me while I was the PAC chairman,” she said in a statement.

Noraini was appointed as PAC chairman last April and helmed it for about 10 months.

She was the first female PAC chairman after replacing Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee.

The Umno Wanita chief replaced Kiandee after he had left Sabah Umno to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia on March 15 last year.

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