JOHOR BARU - A Singapore-based institution of higher learning has been raided by Education Ministry officials for offering courses without approval.
It is learnt that officials removed some documents during the raid at its temporary campus in the city earlier this month.
The institute, which is building a state-of-the-art campus in Nusajaya, began operating at its current location two months ago.
Johor executive councillor in charge of education Md Jais Sarday, who confirmed the raid, urged foreign institutions expanding here to adhere strictly to local guidelines and laws.
"It already started classes in February without obtaining the necessary approvals from the ministry.
"There were also three pending approvals from the Health Department, Fire and Rescue Department and the Johor Baru City Council," he said of the Singapore-based institution.
Md Jais said the students were initially studying in Singapore but transferred to Johor Baru to ease their travelling expenses.
Md Jais expressed concern for the students as the approval was still pending, adding that it was an offence under the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act which stipulated a fine of up to RM50,000 (S$19,000) or six months imprisonment for offenders.
"Anyway, I was told that they are still operating and I will leave it to the ministry. I hope all colleges, institutions and universities, particularly in EduCity in Nusajaya, adhere to our rules and regulations," he added.
Attempts to contact the management of the institution was unsuccessful.
The EduCity project in Iskandar Malaysia, spanning 121ha, has so far attracted some RM700 million in investments with the setting up of several international universities.
To date, 70 per cent of EduCity has been developed with three university campuses and two shared facilities.
Besides EduCity, the Government is also developing Pagoh into a multi-varsity education hub and Bandar Sri Alam in Pasir Gudang as a "City of Knowledge".