(NST) - UMNO president Datuk Seri Najib Razak has strongly criticised irresponsible quarters who had vilified him with a false letter addressed to the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) rector Datuk Dr Zaleha Kamaruddin.
The letter, which was sent using the Umno letterhead and Najib's purported signature, referred to the appointment of Datuk Dr Mizan Hitam as IIUM deputy rector of student affairs, replacing Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmood.
The letter allegedly stated that Mizan's appointment was intended to bring success and glory to "Pro Aspirasi" in order to empower the nation based on Umno's constitution.
Najib said this was an act by a desperate group who would go all out to invoke hatred towards the government.
"I vehemently deny any involvement in this, and have never issued any party letter on the appointment of university officials," Najib said after the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday.
He said this could be verified by the university and also the Higher Education Ministry.Earlier, at a press conference, IIUM Student Affairs & Development Division dean Dr Akmal Khuzairy Abdul Rahman refuted the attempt to link the prime minister and Umno to the letter.
"The university categorically denies that we received the letter from the prime minister," he said.
The letter was addressed to UIA Rector Prof Datuk Seri Dr Zaleha Kamaruddin on Aug 7.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak with the fake letter, using an Umno letterhead and purportedly signed by him, that has been circulating on social media sites and the International Islamic University campus notice boards.The letter allegedly indicated Mizan's appointment had been approved by the Umno supreme council and that it was to facilitate the initiation of the "Ops 2020" project in conjunction with IIUM's campus elections on Sept 25.