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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) said today it is conducting an internal investigation after a question involving controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik entered an examination paper.
In a statement, the university also said it will review its examination question vetting process to ensure that lecturers are more sensitive towards ethnic and religious issues when drafting such questions.
“As a university with students from all racial and cultural backgrounds, UniMAP views the matter seriously, and any feedback will prioritise the unity and racial tolerance aspects as outlined by the concept of Unity Champion which has been practiced since the institution was first founded,” UniMAP said in a statement.
It added that an official statement will be released once the investigation into the Ethnic Relations paper has collected all available information.
The institution also requested all parties to “cease provocations” which could give rise to disharmony, and instead provide UniMAP space to conduct its investigation thoroughly.
Dr Zakir Naik, which has been a polarising figure in Malaysia, was positioned as “an icon in the Muslim world” in one of the exam questions, drawing criticisms from many public figures, such as Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy and Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd.
In response, the Department of Higher Education (JPT) said earlier today that UniMAP is solely responsible for any of its collegiate education programmes.
Following several controversial exam questions, JPT said the matter is solely under the purview of UniMAP as it has the autonomy to set its own syllabus.