PUTRAJAYA: Trust is the name of the game for Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, (pic) as he ends the practice of political appointments within the ministry, it’s institutions and affiliated agencies.
He said the ministry must be “professional, fair, objective and non-political” when selecting leaders, as well as implementing its national policies and programmes.
He said the sector needed to be excellent and efficient, and this would begin with having leadership that could perform authoritatively.
“Public higher education institutions (IPTA), private higher education institutions (IPTS) and even polytechnics and community colleges are all receiving the brunt of the loss of trust nationwide,” he said in his New Year’s message to ministry staff yesterday.
“From this moment on, I will ensure that the selection of leadership will be a strict, thorough and objective process because we want to find the most qualified and authoritative figures.”
He said the process to fill roles in institutions, especially for vice-chancellors and their deputies, will be an open and transparent one.
This would be ensured by reinstating and streamlining the functions and roles of the Higher Education Leadership Academy (Akept), he pointed out.
Last October, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) think thank said the nation had 234 political appointments made from August 2021 to September 2022, with the Higher Education Ministry having the most appointments at 10.
Mohamed Khaled said Akept must do more than just selecting and training heads of higher education institutions.
“More importantly, Akept must design a programme to boost talented leaders, be it from Malaysia or other developing countries, to become world-class higher education leaders,” he added.
Mohamed Khaled said he would form a National Review Committee tasked to ensure the ministry’s plans and agenda were in line with the national aspiration of developing Malaysia Madani.
He said the committee had three months to present its findings, mostly centralised on improvements for the ministry.
“We need more sophisticated, sustainable and contemporary plans and strategies,” he added.