KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 — Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik will look into the petition to renew Prof Datuk Dr Asma Ismail’s tenure as Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) vice-chancellor.

“I will look into it,” he replied to the reporter’s question after launching the Tan Sri Omar Harmony Award at UCSI University here today.

Earlier, it was reported that an online petition to renew Dr Asma’s tenure as USM vice-chancellor has garnered over 7,000 supporters in two hours.

She was appointed as the university’s vice-chancellor on October 4, 2016.


According to the petition, Prof Asma’s tenure is expected to end on October 3 and some 8,651 have signed the petition as of now.

According to the petition, Prof Asma deserves the reappointment because of her undeniable passion for USM and her indisputable reputation as an academic scholar, an effective administrator and an inspiring leader.

Meanwhile, in his launching speech Maszlee said the Education Ministry has been championing the cause of ‘Schools for Communities and Universities for Society’.


“We believe that our students, regardless of their age, background, gender, race or religion, are some of our best change agents to inspire change and unity.

“Our vision is that our schools and universities empower our students to not just learn from theory, but experience putting into practice what they have learnt in improving their communities,” he said.

Therefore, he said to kick-start this, the ministry was promoting problem-based learning in schools, and dedicating more than RM450 million in problem solving research in universities.

This is on top of the abolishment of provisions in the Universities and University Colleges Act which stifles the student’s ability to organise and express themselves.

“I myself am heartened to see our students rallying against racism and the fanning of racial sentiments as in University Malaya a few months ago. I call on every single student to rise up to the challenge of making Malaysia a wonderful place of opportunity and equality,” he said.

At the same event, Maszlee also presented the award to the three winners (teams), Kh’ng Yong Haw (1st Prize), Lee Yee Jat & Wong We Hao (2nd prize) and Federica Lorenza & Melissa Chew Mei Shi (3rd prize).

The Tan Sri Dr Omar Harmony Award is a platform to inspire students to rise up as agents of social change to promote cohesion and harmony.

The award was aimed to promote education as a force for good to address societal problem through the creation of social value in an effective and sustainable manner.

Maszlee later officiated the opening of Block G, UCSI University, which comprises a world-class basketball court on the 12th floor, a six-floor carpark, a media centre, classrooms, lecture halls and eateries. — Bernama