Syed Mokhtar's university shuts down

Posted: 11 Apr 2014 08:07 PM PDT

I'm saddened by the news that the Albukhary International University (AiU) in Alor Star, Kedah is closing down this weeked.

The reasons that led to the decision are 'student dissatisfaction with the programs and management issues', which I believe can be resolved. Financial was never a problem as its owner, billionaire Syed Mokhtar Albukhary is on positive business footings.

Can't the government or Kedah state government do something about it? Its a waste of effort and money if the multi-million ringgit project has to succumb to 'invalid reasons'.
Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary's full-scholarship university in Kedah is being shut down this weekend because of student dissatisfaction with the programmes and management issues – with undergraduates being pushed elsewhere next week.
An official of the Albukhary International University (AiU) in Alor Star, Kedah, told The Malaysian Insider that the first batch of its 600 students are set to pack up and transfer to another university tomorrow.
"At the early stage, we were advised to restructure but we have now been advised by the (education) ministry to close.
"It may be a temporary closure or a permanent one. If we are told to revamp and start afresh, then that is what we will do. But we are still waiting for further instruction from the ministry," she told The Malaysian Insider.
AiU – a fully residential campus with comprehensive facilities in an 18ha site near the city of Alor Star – was set up in 2010 as a "waqf" (eternally charitable) institution funded by Syed Mokhtar's Albukhary Foundation.
The international university has a diverse enrolment from more than 50 countries, with about 75% of them foreigners. Every AiU student holds a scholarship from the foundation.
The university offered foundation studies and degrees in Banking and Finance, Business Administration, Information Technology and Computer Science.
The programmes are approved by the ministry and granted at least the Malaysian Quality Agency (MQA) Provisional Accreditation.
Staff and students at the university have endured uncertainty over the past few months with speculation that the university was going to cease operations because of money problems and would be sold.
It was reported in February this year that the academic staff had been informed that the campus may be closed and they should start looking for new jobs.
The university has also stopped taking in new students, with the admission page on its website "closed for maintenance". Students were also informed that they would be transferred to other private and public institutions.
I personally believe the university needs to be maintained for one good reason - it is the only one of its kind that helps poor students get higher education.

Should its program is not up to standard, a new approach must be undertaken to revise the syllabus so that it is at par with other universities. Is that a problem?

Of course, Syed Mokhtar himself would want the university to stay on course...

What's the agenda, Utusan?

Posted: 11 Apr 2014 03:12 AM PDT

All of a sudden, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi came under heavy attacks by Umno daily Utusan Malaysia and the Opposition 'for granting citizenship to about 1,000 BOC (British Overseas Citizens).

Had it come from Pakatan Rakyat bench, then it is normal and usual but when Utusan Malaysia echoed it, I can't help but ask 'what is up their (Utusan and writer Zaini's sleeves)! Are they charting Umno politics or providing clues for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to 'watch Zahid closely'?

Zahid, in a press statement today denied Utusan reports and allegation made by the Opposition.

Also read what my friend Putra Merdeka writes.

Now we can sue each other...

Posted: 11 Apr 2014 01:08 AM PDT

Whatever and whoever you are, you can't escape the law. Whether you are a member of the palace, prime minister or just a layman, you can be sued if you abuse power, corrupt or committing other offenses.

The bottom line is - everybody is subjected to the law!

Read this story:

KUALA LUMPUR: Absolute immunity for public servants has no place in a progressive democratic society, the High Court here ruled Friday.
Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera (pic) said this in dismissing an application by the public prosecutor and 11 others to strike out a civil suit filed by former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) director Datuk Ramli Yusuff against them and another similar application over a suit by lawyer Rosli Dahlan against the Attorney-General and 10 others.
The defence team for Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and two deputy public prosecutors had submitted that the claim against them could not be sustained as they enjoyed absolute immunity from prosecution.
"I am afraid that the notion of absolute immunity for a public servant, even if mala fide or abuse of power in the exercise of their prosecutorial power is alleged in the pleadings, is anathema to the modern day notions of accountability," he said.
JC Vazeer Alam said he agreed that the deliberate abuse of power by a person holding public office was wrongful and referred to as misfeasance in public office.
"Such a tortious (wrongful) act can arise when an officer, actuated by malice, for example, by personal spite or a desire to injure for improper reasons, abuses his power.
"This is in keeping with developments in modern jurisprudence that absolute immunity for public servants has no place in a progressive democratic society," he said.
He said the court was only concerned with whether facts were included in the claim and if it would have to go to trial for the plaintiff to establish his case.
"Even judicial immunity granted to judges or persons acting in a judicial capacity under Section 14 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 is not absolute and is subject to the requirement of good faith in the exercise of their judicial powers," he said.
Therefore, he said he was unable to accept defendants' contention that the claim against three of them was unsustainable by reason of immunity.
He also ruled that although the acts allegedly attributed to some of the defendants were committed in their capacity as officers of the then Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was the proper party to be brought in as a defendant in the civil dispute.
"I find that by virtue of Section 74 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, any act done or action taken by the ACA or an officer of the ACA shall be deemed to have been continued by the MACC (as its successor)," he said.
He also held that action would have to be brought in against the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and not the Royal Malaysian Police, (PDRM) named as a defendant in both suits, as it is not a legal entity. He allowed for proper amendment in the claim.
JC Vazeer Alam set June 18 for case management.

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