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Letter to Higher Education meant to help KSHAS sustain itself, says TNB ex-chief

Publish date: Wed, 22 Mar 2023, 10:45 PM

ROMPIN: Former Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) chairman Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin has refuted claims that the letter he sent to the Higher Education Ministry in January could result in the Universiti Tenaga Nasional's (Uniten) Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Campus (KSHAS) in Muadzam Shah here closing its doors.

The former Rompin member of parliament said some quarters might have misinterpreted the letter's contents as he sought to help KSHAS sustain itself and offer suitable programmes that would boost student enrolment.

"Yes, I sent the letter with suggestions on increasing student intake and offering suitable programmes. I have included proposals for elevating the university's academic standards and reputation.

"There are no plans to shut down the Muadzam Shah campus. There has been a misunderstanding. People should understand the letter's contents instead of making assumptions. As a former member of parliament, I want the campus to remain in Rompin," he said when contacted today.

Hasan, who was TNB chairman between Oct 1, 2021 and Jan 1 this year, was responding to a four-page letter that he sent to the Higher Education Ministry's director-general Datuk Dr Husaini Omar on Jan 23.

Hasan's letter was shared along with a Facebook posting several days ago, claiming the move to reduce the programmes at KSHAS would see a drop in the number of students and lecturers, which might result in the campus closing down in the long run.

A Facebook user questioned if Hasan's defeat in the 15th General Election(GE15) had prompted him to prevent Muadzam Shah from enjoying further development as the move towards closing KHSAS will impact the livelihood of the people in Muadzam.

In his letter, Hasan, who lost in GE15 to Bersatu's Datuk Abdul Khalib Abdullah, wrote that Uniten's Business and Accounting faculty should not be in a rural area (Muadzam Shah) as the subject required exposure to the corporate sector, business and industries which are located in towns.

He said the undergraduates needed to take up part-time jobs or be taught by lecturers and tutors with vast experience teaching in the corporate and business sectors.

"Uniten's scope is not to produce graduates for the public sector but more towards preparing students who can take up the corporate, financial, business and entrepreneur challenges. Its main priority is to churn out high-quality graduates.

"As the former Uniten chairman, for the sake of the university and its students, it is best for those in the business and accounting degree programmes to immediately move to its campus in Bangi. The Muadzam Shah campus can be maintained for the business and accounting diploma courses, and other feeder courses for Uniten or other universities," he wrote.

In 2019, the Uniten vice-chancellor's office announced the setting up a centralised campus operation by merging its two branches - the Rompin and Putrajaya campuses.

In 2021, the then TNB chairman Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said KHSAS, which was opened in 2001, would remain in Rompin and not as a single entity in Putrajaya.

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