Friday, February 26, 2021

Putrajaya’s higher education authority revokes appointment of new member over RM2.8 million CBT charge

MQA says it views seriously the integrity of its council members.

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Putrajaya’s main agency tasked with supervising the quality of higher education institutions in the country has revoked the appointment of a new council member due to a string of corruption charges.

The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), a body under the higher education ministry, withdrew the appointment of Mohamed Zaini Amran last week, after checks revealed that cases related to criminal breach of trust have yet to be resolved at the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Zaini, a former company director, was charged early this year.

“MQA and the higher education minister view seriously the integrity of a person who will be joining the council. Integrity is the most important thing,” MQA CEO Hussaini Omar told MalaysiaNow, confirming the decision.

Zaini, the former director of Infra Desa Johor (IDJ) Sdn Bhd, faces nine counts of committing CBT involving RM2.82 million worth of company money two years ago.

He was also slapped with nine other charges for using the company’s cheque by transferring the money from IDJ’s bank account to the accounts of five other companies without consent for his own benefit and that of others.

The offences were said to have taken place at a bank in Taman Perling, Johor Bahru, on April 11 and 13, 2018.

Zaini claimed trial to the charges.

A source in the higher education ministry previously said that Zaini’s appointment to the council had not gone down well with some due to his CBT case.

Requesting anonymity, the source said MQA should be more attentive when deciding who to appoint to the council, which is responsible for approving the agency’s plans and policies.

“Appointing an individual who has problems with integrity will jeopardise public trust in MQA and the quality of higher education in the country,” the source said.

Hussaini meanwhile said Higher Education Minister Noraini Ahmad had been informed of the charges against Zaini and that several investigations were conducted to ensure that the decision to withdraw his appointment was fair and without prejudice.

He said the decision was not made public in order to protect the good name of many.

“Zaini has also been informed of the decision and has accepted it,” he said.

“He knows that MQA is an agency of quality, known throughout the country, and which also prioritises integrity.”

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