Academic says unfair to dissolve National Council of Professors

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PETALING JAYA: A prominent academic has urged the federal government to reconsider its decision to dissolve the National Council of Professors (MPN).

Speaking to FMT Teo Kok Seong of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, a member of the MPN, said he understood that some saw the MPN as the mouthpiece of the previous administration, but this wasn’t the case.

“We can’t deny that there are overzealous professors among us who defended the previous administration, but this is just a handful of people.

“Such professors can be filtered out or acted against, but to abolish the MPN, I feel it is unfair.”

Teo said the MPN, which was established in 2010, helped harness the expertise of some 3,000 professors in the country, across various sectors.

This, he said, resulted in academics getting involved in nation building and the formulation of policies at state and federal level.

He noted that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who announced the abolishment of the MPN today, had attended the first and second MPN conferences.

“The government spends a lot of money to produce a professor. The new government can still capitalise on our knowledge and expertise. It would be a waste to confine us to our respective universities.”

Previously, the Malaysian Academic Movement (Gerak) called on the government to dissolve the MPN, saying it had been used to legitimise the Barisan Nasional administration rather than promote knowledge and nation-building.

Gerak also said professors should not be institutionalised and that they should have the freedom to engage with the government, civil society groups, society or other stakeholders without the need to go through a council like the MPN.

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