Friday, 8 March 2013

AN EMBARRASSMENT: Kedah MB and Kuin rector blamed

NSTP : 9 March 3012

Sumber : NSTP

KOLEJ Universiti Insaniah (Kuin) was touted as the pride of Kedah Pas.  As soon as the Islamist party took over Kedah after the March 8, 2008 general election, newly appointed Menteri Besar

Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak pledged to make Kuin an Islamic-based educational institution that all Kedahans can be proud of.

Azizan added that Kuin, mooted and set up by the previous Barisan Nasional state government, would be of world-class standard.

His promise was a major agenda in the Kedah Pakatan Rakyat's manifesto for the last general election.

All was well then, at least on paper. Today, however, Kuin is in almost utter ruin.

One person taking charge and who dared to go against Azizan is the university college's senior assistant registrar, Muhammad Azki Hafizi Ibrahim.

A pioneer staff at Kuin since it opened its doors 11 years ago, he has a lot to share on the troubles faced by the institution.

During a "tell-all" ceramah, dubbed Kuin Bersih 2.0: Gempur Jazan recently, he confided in about 350 people present on Kuin's troubles.

He claimed that Kuin's troubles started after Azizan appointed one of his university buddies, Professor Datuk Dr Jamil Osman, as its rector.

In the emotionally charged ceramah, held no less in Sungai Limau which is Azizan's and Pas' stronghold where the menteri besar is its assemblyman for the past four terms, Hafizi described Jamil as an ambitious person but with poor knowledge of the running of an educational institution.
Hafizi produced documents, he claimed as proof, of Jamil's abuses and mismanagement.

He said Kuin was about RM13 million in the red with most of the funds, drained from the state government, spent on Jamil's "cronies".

The "cronies", he said, were made directors of some seven subsidiaries set up under Insaniah Holdings, the investment arm of Kuin.

"The directors are paid fat salaries but Kuin owes us tens of thousands of ringgit in unpaid salaries," he said on the much-publicised failure by the university college to pay the 300-odd staff and lecturers their salaries on time since middle of last year.

Failure by Kuin to pay its employees on time had caused the majority of them to receive warning letters from banks for failure to remit payments for their car and housing loans.

"Many of us have also been blacklisted by financial institutions," he said to a mixed audience of young professionals and simple folk of Sungai Limau, a basically agrarian community in the Malay heartland of Kedah.

Another speaker, Sajiah Yaacob, a lecturer on hospitality studies, said she and seven other colleagues had been slapped with show-cause letters for "speaking up".

"Here we have a state government which promised a 'Sejahtera Rakyat' slogan, but we are being punished for speaking up for our rights. This is nothing political but we are simply fighting for what is due to us and the Kuin management has absolved itself of any wrongdoing," she said.

Hafizi, Sajiah and another lecturer, Mohd Baihaki Hassan, said they have met Azizan and Jamil with their concerns on Kuin but neither men were keen to hear them out.

They have also lodged reports of alleged financial abuses and mismanagement at Kuin with the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

They have also openly dared Azizan and Jamil to sue them over their allegations.
Jamil and his senior management staff have remained unreachable on the issues raised by Hafizi and company.

Azizan, on a number of occasions, had assured that all would be well once Kuin moved into its new campus in Kuala Ketil.

That remains to be seen.

The campus, which was opened by Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah in January, is still under construction.

Some 2,500 students are expected to move into the new campus on March 17, but the eight dormitories planned have yet to see daylight.

Instead they will live in a pasang-siap residential block, which only started works recently.
Until then, the students would be housed in lecture halls and lecture halls modified into their living quarters.