KUALA LUMPUR: The International Islamic University Malaysia (UIAM) has clarified that a move to suspend law lecturer Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari from work for seven days was not to penalise him.

Prof Zaleha, IIUM Rector

At a press conference here Friday, UIAM Rector Prof Datuk Dr Zaleha Kamaruddin said the suspension was to enable a detailed investigation to be carried out under Regulation 15 of the University Staff Discipline Regulations.

The suspension, beginning last Wednesday, followed Abdul Aziz’s recent statement questioning the Sultan of Selangor’s decision with regard to the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) raid at the Methodist Damansara Utama Church (DUMC) last Aug 3.

The university also denied media reports and portal news that Abdul Aziz was not allowed to enter the university premises and that his salary was temporarily witheld.

“The university will pay his salary as usual and he is free to enter the university and associate with the faculty,” she explained.

Abdul Aziz is however, obliged to respond to the show-cause letter issued to him by the university last Wednesday. If he failed to reply within the given period, he would be summoned before the disciplinary board, said Zaleha.

“The university does not restrict any academic staff from giving statements but they must not be against the interests of the university,” she added.

Abdul Aziz’s statement provoked objections from certain parties, among them, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who described his reluctance to apologise to the Sultan as disrespectful.