PETALING JAYA – A lecturer whose article criticising the government’s financial policies renewed a debate on academic freedom says he was instructed by his university to stop writing about “sensitive political issues”.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) political science lecturer Abdul Muein Abadi however said he stands by his article in which he claimed that the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led government sold RM20 billion in assets over the past 400 days.
“I wrote based on official and credible reports, which I have also proven one by one, and not based on defamatory sources or fabrications as alleged by the prime minister’s adviser,” Muein wrote on his Facebook, referring to A Kadir Jasin.
Kadir had questioned Muein’s claims and urged Education Minister Maszlee Malik to explain if there was a conspiracy by UKM against the government.
“I’m afraid that we’ve become a victim in a game of deception by the deep state,” Kadir wrote on his personal blog.
Muein, saying he was faced with “political threats and slander”, said he would abide by the directive.
He said Kadir had failed to respond to his arguments, and accused him of dragging in UKM vice-chancellor Mohd Hamdi Abdul Shukor and board chairman Abdul Wahid Omar.
“We have never met or discussed, let alone become involved in any conspiracy,” he said.
He said just as a medical doctor would only point out health problems, a political scientist is expected to point out problems in the administration.
“For example, the geopolitical trap if too many of the country’s assets are sold off too quickly, as well as soft and sharp power, the spike in debt from RM686 billion to RM800.8 billion within a period of over 400 days, and giving strategic positions to foreigners and big powers.
“The duty of the doctor is not to offer sweets to patients, not to apple-polish the government,” he added.