Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (Gerak) successfully organised a town hall discussion with Education Minister Maszlee Malik in University of Malaya on Monday, 23 July from 2pm to 4pm.
The by-invitation meeting was primarily held to discuss higher education reforms.
These reforms, largely advanced by Gerak in its widely-reported 10-point proposal, candidly address the rot that has set in higher education in Malaysia under the previous regime.
The meeting, held at the university’s faculty of law, was attended by about 50 Gerak affiliates, including internationally renowned Malaysian scholars, Diana Wong, Francis Loh, Prof Rajah Rasiah, Prof Syed Farid Alatas and Prof Edmund Terence Gomez.
Scholars from the Malaysian Social Science Association (PSSM), the University of Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, the International Islamic University Malaysia, Multimedia University, the National Defence University (UPNM), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Nottingham University Malaysia and Monash University Malaysia were also in attendance.
Vocal student representatives from Gempak, Malaysia Muda and Grip added to the richness of the meeting.
The meeting came up with possible strategies to chart the way forward.
The minister, who had seen and supported all ten of Gerak’s proposals which were handed to him personally in June, clearly is looking at ways to bring academic excellence and meritocracy back to Malaysia’s universities. He reassured Gerak that he would work gradually towards realising Gerak’s 10 proposals.
In this regard, the minister is committed to having regular engagements with Gerak and like-minded academics in advancing higher education reform.
The minister also reiterated that the Majlis Profesor Negara (MPN) no longer has the support of the government