KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 12): Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said his appointment as president of the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) will be used to restore the university's reputation until it is capable of emerging as the 'Oxford of Muslim countries'.
He noted that UIAM was seen declining in terms of its performance over the past few years.
"With the position of the Minister of Education as president ... I just want to implement the mission and responsibility entrusted by IIUM, and I will do my best, then I will resign (as president of the university)," he said.
Maszlee was met by reporters here tonight after meeting with a group of students who among others wanted him to resign as UIAM president.
Commenting further, he said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself had informed him that IIUM had the potential to be on par with Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
According to Maszlee, UIAM's staff were now ready to make changes towards the glory in question and he did not want to disappoint them.
He pointed out that his position as IIUM president would not stunt the Ministry's commitment to ensure that all universities in this country reached their own level of glory.
Regarding the group's insistence that he let go of the post within seven days from today, the minister said: "As a father I must hear the grouses of my children, it is normal that the children become disappointed if they do not get something and the father's duty is to coax, and the best way (is to) show the best examples’’.
Asked on the disappointment of the group of students over the encounter today who allegedly found a dead end, Maszlee said he needed to take the views of various parties on the issue raised.
"That is why I hold a broader discussion, meeting with the IIUM rector, senate and the IIUM staff because the appointment (as president of the university) was made not involving my decision," he said.