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Prof Zaharom seeks judicial review of decision to remove him as Malaysian Qualifications Agency chief

Public universities like UUM must remain neutral

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Update: The decision will be on 12 November.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court on Wednesday, 7 October 2020, will hear an application from Prof Zaharom Nain, chair of the Malaysian Academic Movement (Gerak), for a judicial review of a decision by the Ministry of Education to reverse his appointment as the chief executive officer of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency.

The judicial review application in Professor Zaharom Bin Nain v Menteri Pendidikan Malaysia & Agensi Kelayakan Malaysia (WA-25-118-03/2020) was filed by Prof Zaharom to seek orders against the decision in respect of the revocation of his appointment and the breach of his legitimate expectation to be emplaced in the position. Prof Zaharom also seeks damages as a result of these decisions.

Prof Zaharom’s claim is premised on letters issued by the respondents that stated that the education minister had appointed him to the position of CEO of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency pursuant to Section 21 of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency Act 2007.

However, Prof Zaharom’s appointment was subsequently revoked due to alleged changes in the federal government’s policy not to extend the appointments of retired public servants on a contract basis and, further, that the Public Service Department had not agreed to the appointment.

Prof Zaharom argues that the conduct of the respondents in refusing to emplace him in the position of CEO of the MQA is bad in law. This is because, amongst others, Prof Zaharom had not been given a right to be heard prior to the revocation of his appointment and that the revocation of his appointment was a breach of his legitimate expectation that he be emplaced in the office of the CEO.

The hearing for the judicial review is scheduled for 3pm on Wednesday, 7 October 2020 before Judge Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid at the Jalan Duta High Court, 4th floor, right wing, Bahagian Rayuan dan Kuasa-kuasa Khas.

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