• Betapa seriuskah penipuan akademik di universiti kita?

    Kenyataan Media oleh Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Ahli Parlimen Serdang pada 25 Julai 2016

    Betapa seriuskah penipuan akademik di universiti kita?

    Lebih daripada sebulan yang lepas, pada 11 Jun 2016, Fakulti Perubatan Universiti Malaya telah dimaklumkan tentang dakwaan penipuan akademik yang dilakukan oleh beberapa ahli fakulti yang merupakan penulis / penulis bersama beberapa kertas penerbitan saintifik. Pihak universiti kemudian mengadakan siasatan berhubung kes tersebut dan mendapati bahawa ‘terdapat duplikasi dan / atau manipulasi terhadap hampir kesemua jadual dan rajah dalam kertas asal dalam Scientific Reports dan di dalam 3 buah penerbitan lain yang dikarang oleh kumpulan penyelidik tersebut’ justeru telah  memanggil mereka untuk menarik balik kesemua 4 artikel itu.[1] Artikel-artikel itu kemudian telah ditarik balik daripada jurnal yang terlibat.[2]

    Tindakan pantas pihak Universiti telah menyampaikan mesej kuat iaitu bahawa universiti penyelidikan nasional tidak akan bertoleransi terhadap penipuan akademik dan ini harus dipuji. Namun persoalan yang lebih besar berkenaan intergriti dan penipuan akademik masih belum terjawab.

    Sebagai contoh, pembongkaran kes ini berlaku disebabkan oleh penelitian ahli akademik dan penyelidik luar negara, dan bukannya kerana siasatan dalaman pihak universiti. Dakwaan tersebut muncul menerusi Twitter dan kemudiannya dipetik oleh blog seperti Microbiome Digest, For Better Science dan Science. Elisabeth Bik, seorang penyelidik dari Stanford yang pada baru-baru ini telah mengarang bersama kertas penyelidikan bertajuk “The Prevalence of Inapprioprite Image Duplication in Biomedical Research Publications”, berpendapat di Microbiome Digest bahawa bukan sahaja pertindihan berlaku dalam imej setiap kertas penyelidikan, malahan angka-angka juga kelihatan sama dalam hampir kesemua kertas (walaupun kertas itu adalah berkenaan dengan sel kanser dan kompaun yang berlainan!). Tanpa penelitian sebegini, adakah penipuan akademik ini akan ditemui?

    Tambahan lagi, adakah pengarang empat buah kertas tersebut (selain Nina Samie yang merupakan ketua pengarang dalam kesemua kertas tersebut) sedar bahawa kajian mereka ditiru tiga kali dan dihantar ke 4 jurnal yang berlainan? Adakah penipuan akademik berlaku bukan hanya dari segi isi kandungan, tetapi juga dari segi cara pengarang bersama mungkin ditipu, atau lebih teruk lagi, mungkin bersubahat dalam hal ini?

    Apa yang membimbangkan adalah kes ini mungkin merupakan sebahagian kecil daripada permasalahan kelemahan integriti akademik dan kejujuran dalam sistem pendidikan tinggi kita. Walaupun saya percaya majoriti besar daripada 3,823 kertas penyelidikan yang ditulis oleh staf dan pelajar UM dalam jurnal berindeks dilakukan dengan jujur dan berintegriti[3], hanya sebilangan kecil kes bermasalah mampu mencemarkan reputasi kesemua orang.

    Saya pernah mendengar khabar tentang ahli fakulti junior dan penyelidik yang dipaksa untuk memasukkan nama penyelia mereka ke dalam kertas akademik walaupun mereka (penyelia) tidak menyumbangkan input intelektual atau kerja yang mendalam untuk menghasilkan kertas tersebut. Terdapat juga penyelia yang mendesak untuk dinamakan sebagai pengarang pertama yang memberi gambaran bahawa mereka mengambil peranan utama dan melakukan kerja-kerja utama untuk penerbitan tersebut. Bahkan terdapat kes yang lebih teruk iaitu terdapat ahli akademik senior yang menuntut semua hak intelektual untuk diri sendiri dengan tidak membenarkan ahli akademik junior meletakkan nama mereka dalam penerbitan. 

    Adalah tidak mencukupi untuk UM hanya menerbitkan kenyataan akhbar berhubung penipuan akademik ini. Sebagai insitusi yang tertua dan palingberprestij di Malaysia, UM sepatutnya mengambil peranan utama dalam menegakkan piawaian dan integriti akademik dan kejujuran intelektual. Sehubungan dengan itu, saya menyeru pihak UM untuk menerbitkan prosiding penuh siasatan dalaman terhadap perkara ini dan mengesyorkan perubahan kepada garis panduan sedia ada bagi mengelakkan perkara sebegini daripada berulang. Selain itu, UM seharusnya mendedahkan apa sebenarnya hukuman yang dikenakan terhadap penyelidik-penyelidik yang terlibat demi menghantar mesej yang tegas kepada ahli fakulti yang lain tentang kesan serius penipuan akademik.

    Selain itu, saya menggesa Menteri Pengajian Tinggi, Idris Jusoh untuk menjalankan kajian semula yang menyeluruh terhadap usahasama Penyelidikan Berimpak Tinggi (HIR) antara Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi (KPT) dan Universiti Malaya (UM) yang bertujuan untuk memberi dana kepada projek penyelidikan bagi menghasilkan penerbitan dalam jurnal ISI Tier 1/ jurnal Web of Science[4]. Pengarang 3 kertas yang terlibat dalam kes penipuan akademik telah menerima 2 geran penyelidikan daripada usahasama ini. Menurut laporan tahunan UM 2014, KPT telah menyuntik dana RM590 juta ke dalam program ini, dengan tambahan dana dari UM, untuk mendanai projek penyelidikan sehingga 2016. Memandangkan sejumlah besar dana dikhususkan untuk inisiatif ini dan hakikat bahawa dua daripada projek dikenalpasti terlibat dalam penipuan akademik, adalah menjadi isu kepentingan awam untuk menerbitkan secara awam maklumat dana projek ini dan mengkajinya semula. Jika Idris Jusoh serius ingin memastikan sistem pendidikan kita sejajar dengan laungan ‘Soaring Upwards’, beliau perlu mengambil serius perkara ini dan tidak cuba menutup hal sebenar.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Ahli Parlimen Serdang

    [1] http://www.um.edu.my/about-um/media-centre/news/2016/06/16/allegations-of-scientific-misconduct-at-university-of-malaya

    [2] Samie N., Haerian B.S., Muniandy S., Marlina A., Kanthimathi M.S., Abdullah N.B., Ahmadian G. and Aziddin R.E.R. (2016) Mechanism of Action of the Novel Nickel(II) Complex in Simultaneous Reactivation of the Apoptotic Signaling Networks Against Human Colon Cancer Cells. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 6:313. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00313
    (Received: 19/11/15 | Accepted: 18/12/15 | Published: 28/1/16 | Retracted: 29/6/16 )

    Samie N., Muniandy S., Kanthimathi M., Haerian B.S. (2016) Mechanism of action of novel piperazine containing a toxicant against human liver cancer cells. PeerJ, 4:e1588. doi: 10.7717/peerj.1588
    (Received: 17/11/15 | Accepted: 21/12/15 | Published: 17/3/16 Retracted: 26/6/16)

    Samie N., Muniandy S., Kanthimathi M.S., Haerian, B.S., Azudin, R.E.R. (2016) Novel piperazine core compound induces death in human liver cancer cells: possible pharmacological properties. Scientific Reports, 6:24172. doi: 10.1038/srep24172
    (Received: 1/10/15 | Accepted 23/3/16 | Published: 13/4/16 | Retracted: 22/6/16)

    Samie N., Kanthimathi M.S., Muniandy S., Marlina, A., Mohamed Z., Abdullah, N. Revamp of the apoptotic signalling pathways and cell cycle arrest in colon cancer cells induced by novel copper based compound and its molecular mechanisms. Recent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery. (Withdrawn before publishing – can no longer be found online)

    [3] https://www.um.edu.my/docs/default-source/about-um_document/media-centre/annual-report/annual-report-2014.pdf,  p. 28

    [4] http://hir.um.edu.my

  • How serious is academic fraud in our universities?

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 25th of July, 2016

    How serious is academic fraud in our universities?

    More than a month ago, on the 11th of June, 2016, the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Malaya was alerted of alleged academic misconduct on the part of some faculty members who were authors / co-authors in a number of scientific publications. To its credit, the University quickly convened an investigation and found that ‘there were duplication and / or manipulation of almost all the figures (images and graphs) within the original Scientific Reports paper and across three other publications authored by the group of researchers” and called for the authors to retract all four articles.[1] The articles were subsequently retracted by the journals in question.[2]

    The university’s quick and decisive action sends a strong signal that research fraud is not tolerated in our national research universities and it should be applauded accordingly. But larger questions regarding academic integrity and academic fraud remain unanswered.

    For example, this specific case of academic fraud was discovered not by an internal probe within the university but because of scrutiny by academics and researchers from outside the country. The allegations which were first highlighted on twitter was then picked up by blogs such as Microbiome Digest, For Better Science and Science. Elisabeth Bik, a Stanford researcher who recently co-authored a paper titled “The Prevalence of Inappropriate Image Duplication in Biomedical Research Publications”, suggested on Microbiome Digest that not only were the images duplicated within each paper, but that the figures look very similar across papers (despite the papers being about different cancer cells and different compounds!). Without such scrutiny, would this academic fraud have been discovered?

    In addition, were the authors in all four papers (other than Nina Samie who was the lead author in all of the papers) aware that the same study was replicated thrice and submitted to four different journals under different titles? Was there academic fraud not just in terms of the content published but also in the manner in which the different co-authors may have been duped or worse yet, were complicit partners in this scandal?

    What is disconcerting is that this specific case may be the tip of the iceberg of what is poor academic integrity and honesty in our higher education system. While I believe that a large majority of the 3823 papers which were published by UM students and staff in indexed journals have been done with academic integrity and honesty,[3] it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the barrel.

    I have heard of instances of junior faculty and researchers being forced to include the names of their supervisors on academic papers even though their supervisors did not contribute any significant intellectual input or work. Some supervisors even insist of being named as first author which implies that he or she took the leading role and did much of the work for the publication in question. In some worse cases of academic fraud, some senior academics even refuse to allow the junior faculty or researcher to put their name in the publication thus claiming all the intellectual credit for himself or herself.

    It is not sufficient for UM to merely issue a press statement on this specific instance of academic fraud. As the oldest and arguably most prestigious academic institution in Malaysia, it should take a leading role when it comes to upholding standards of academic integrity and intellectual honesty. As such, I call upon the University of Malaya to publish the full proceedings of its internal investigation into this matter and to recommend changes to existing guidelines so these kinds of cases do not happen again. In addition, UM should also disclose the exact nature of the punishment meted out to the researchers in question so as to send a strong signal to other faculty of the serious consequences of academic fraud.

    In addition, I call upon the Minister of Higher Education, Idris Jusoh, to conduct a comprehensive review of the High Impact Research (HIR) initiative between his Ministry and the University of Malaya. The authors of three of the papers received two research grants from this initiative which is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the University of Malaya to fund projects that will lead to publications in Tier 1 ISI/Web of Science journals[4]. According to the UM 2014 annual report, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has injected RM590 million into the programme, with additional funding from UM, to fund research projects up till 2016. Given the large amount of funds dedicated to this initiative and that the fact that two of its research projects were found to be academically fraudulent, it is in the public interest for the funding for all the projects under this initiative to be publicly disclosed and reviewed. If Idris Jusoh is serious about ensuring that our higher education system is ‘Soaring Upwards’, he should take this matter seriously and not try to cover things up.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    [1] http://www.um.edu.my/about-um/media-centre/news/2016/06/16/allegations-of-scientific-misconduct-at-university-of-malaya

    [2] Samie N., Haerian B.S., Muniandy S., Marlina A., Kanthimathi M.S., Abdullah N.B., Ahmadian G. and Aziddin R.E.R. (2016) Mechanism of Action of the Novel Nickel(II) Complex in Simultaneous Reactivation of the Apoptotic Signaling Networks Against Human Colon Cancer Cells. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 6:313. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00313 (Received: 19/11/15 | Accepted: 18/12/15 | Published: 28/1/16 | Retracted: 29/6/16 )

    Samie N., Muniandy S., Kanthimathi M., Haerian B.S. (2016) Mechanism of action of novel piperazine containing a toxicant against human liver cancer cells. PeerJ, 4:e1588. doi: 10.7717/peerj.1588 (Received: 17/11/15 | Accepted: 21/12/15 | Published: 17/3/16 Retracted: 26/6/16)

    Samie N., Muniandy S., Kanthimathi M.S., Haerian, B.S., Azudin, R.E.R. (2016) Novel piperazine core compound induces death in human liver cancer cells: possible pharmacological properties. Scientific Reports, 6:24172. doi: 10.1038/srep24172 (Received: 1/10/15 | Accepted 23/3/16 | Published: 13/4/16 | Retracted: 22/6/16)

    Samie N., Kanthimathi M.S., Muniandy S., Marlina, A., Mohamed Z., Abdullah, N. Revamp of the apoptotic signalling pathways and cell cycle arrest in colon cancer cells induced by novel copper based compound and its molecular mechanisms. Recent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery. (Withdrawn before publishing – can no longer be found online)

    [3] https://www.um.edu.my/docs/default-source/about-um_document/media-centre/annual-report/annual-report-2014.pdf, p. 28

    [4] http://hir.um.edu.my

  • 选举委员会没有权利跳过正当的宪法程序来非法划分选区

    (2016年7月20日)沙登区国会议员王建民博士的媒体声明

    选举委员会没有权利跳过正当的宪法程序来非法划分选区

    根据联邦宪法第113(2)条文,如果选举委员会希望更动国州选区的选民,必须通过选区划分,并遵守联邦宪法的第十三附表的程序和所赋予的权利。这包括通知国会议长和首相,然后在全国报章上刊登启事并宪报公布选区划分。

    我们有充分的理由相信,选委会在2016年4月29日宪报公布国州议席边界修正实际上是“暗渡陈仓”地进行非法选区划分。

    根据1958年选举法令第7条文,选委会有权在一个选区设立崭新投票区,并在同一选区更动选民投票区。但除非是选区划分的影响,选举委员会并没有更动国州选区的选民的权利,

    其中选委会非法选区划分最明显的例子是落在乌鲁雪兰莪国会选区P94中的新古毛州选区N6。这次议席边界修正导致了共有5590名巴冬加里州选区N7选民(2013大选国阵赢得5,398张多数票),迁至隔邻的新古毛州选区N6(行动党赢得1,702张多数票)。同时,只有56名新古毛选民N6,换至巴冬加里N7投票。[1] 由此,新古毛选民从2013年大选的2万1186名选民,大增26.1%至2万6720名选民。同时,巴冬加里选民从2013年大选的4万3578名选民,骤降12.7%至3万8044名选民。(请参阅以下图表一)

    图表一:修正选区边界后新古毛选民N6和巴冬加里N7的选民人数变化

    P:国会议席 S:州议席

    我们很难不怀疑这是国阵通过非法选区划分,“暗渡陈仓”以夺回雪州的策略。

    在此,我们呼吁选委会马上取消修正选区边界,恢复2013年大选版本的选区边界。

    王建民博士
    沙登区国会议员

    Federal Government Gazette: NOTICE OF POLLING DISTRICTS AND POLLING CENTRES FOR THE FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUENCIES OF THE STATES OF MALAYA

    “Illegal Delimitation: Effect on N6 KKB and N7 Batang Kali” (Powerpoint, 20 July 2016)

    [1] The figures are updated up to the Quarter Four (Q4) 2015 electoral roll.

  • Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya tiada kuasa untuk menjalankan persempadanan semula yang haram tanpa melalui prosedur perlembagaan yang betul

    Kenyataan Media oleh Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Ahli Parlimen Serdang pada 20 Julai 2016

    Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya tiada kuasa untuk menjalankan persempadanan semula yang haram tanpa melalui prosedur perlembagaan yang betul

    Menurut Artikel 113 (2) Perlembagaan Persekutuan, jika Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) ingin melukis semula sempadan kawasan pilihan raya bagi sebarang kerusi melalui persempadanan semula, tidak kira sama ada kerusi Negeri atau kerusi Parlimen, ia perlu mematuhi prosedur dan peruntukan yang terkandung dalam Jadual 13 Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Ini termasuklah memaklumkan Speaker Dewan dan Perdana Menteri, serta menerbitkan notis tentang permulaan persempadanan semula dalam Warta dan juga dalam akhbar nasional.

    Kami mempunyai sebab yang bagus untuk mempercayai bahawa notis yang disiarkan dalam Warta bertarikh 29 April 2016 yang menyenaraikan daerah mengundi dan pusat mengundi bagi kawasan pilihan raya negeri dan persekutuan di Semenanjung Malaysia sebenarnya merupakan ‘persempadanan tersembunyi’ secara haram yang dilakukan oleh SPR.

    SPR mempunyai kuasa untuk mewujudkan daerah mengundi yang baru serta memindahkan pengundi antara daerah mengundi di dalam kawasan pilihan raya yang sama sebagaimana yang tertakluk dalam Seksyen 7 Akta Pilihan Raya 1958. Namun, SPR tiada hak dan kuasa untuk memindahkan pengundi dari sebuah kawasan pilihan raya sedia ada ke kawasan pilihan raya yang baru, tidak kira sama ada ia kawasan kerusi negeri mahupun parlimen, melainkan dalam konteks persempadanan semula.

    Satu contoh terang-terangan persempadanan semula secara haram ini adalah di kerusi negeri N6 Kuala Kubu Baru dalam kawasan Parlimen P94 Hulu Selangor. Sebanyak 14 lokaliti dengan jumlah 5590 pengundi dipindahkan dari N7 Batang Kali (dimenangi oleh UMNO pada PRU 2013 dengan undi majoriti 5398) ke N6 Kuala Kubu Baru (dimenangi oleh DAP dengan majoriti 1702 undi) sebagai kesan daripada persempadanan semula yang haram ini. Sejumlah 2 lokaliti dengan 56 pengundi dipindahkan dari N6 Kuala Kubu Baru ke N7 Batang Kali.[1] Kesannya, jumlah pengundi meningkat sebanyak 26.1% iaitu dari 21,186 pengundi pada PRU 2013 kepada 26,720 pengundi. Pada masa yang sama, N7 Batang Kali menyaksikan pengurangan sebanyak 12.7% pengundi, iaitu dari 43,578 pengundi pada PRU 2013 kepada 38,044 pengundi. (Rujuk Jadual 1 di bawah)

    Jadual 1: Perubahan bilangan pengundi di N6 Kuala Kubu Baru dan N7 Batang Kali selepas persempadanan semula secara haram

    Kita mengesyaki bahawa inilah strategi Barisan Nasional untuk memenangi kembali Negeri Selangor secara ‘dengan cara tersembunyi’ melalui persempadanan semula secara haram.

    Kami menggesa SPR untuk menarik balik kesan persempadanan semula yang haram ini dan untuk mengembalikan sempadan pilihan raya di Semenanjung Malaysia kepada sempadan yang digunakan semasa Pilihan Raya Umum 2013.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Ahli Parlimen Serdang

    Federal Government Gazette: NOTICE OF POLLING DISTRICTS AND POLLING CENTRES FOR THE FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUENCIES OF THE STATES OF MALAYA

    “Illegal Delimitation: Effect on N6 KKB and N7 Batang Kali” (Powerpoint, 20 July 2016)

    [1] Angka-angka ini telah dikemaskini sehingga daftar pemilih Suku Ke-4 (Q4) 2015.

  • The Election Commission has no power to illegally conduct a delimitation exercise without going through proper constitutional procedures

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Serdang on the 20th of July, 2016

    The Election Commission has no power to illegally conduct a delimitation exercise without going through proper constitutional procedures

    According to Article 113 (2) of the Federal Constitution, if the Election Commission wants to redraw the constituency boundaries of any seat via a delimitation exercise, be it at the parliamentary or at the state constituency level, it has to comply with the procedures and provisions contained in the 13th Schedule of the Federal Constitution. This includes notifying the Speaker of the House and the Prime Minister, publishing a notification of the start of the delimitation in the Gazette as well as in a national newspaper.

    We have good reason to believe that the notice published in the Gazette on the 29th of April, 2016 listing the polling districts and polling centers for the federal and state constituencies in Peninsular Malaysia is actually a ‘delimitation by stealth’ illegal exercise conducted by the Election Commission.

    The Election Commission has the right to create new polling districts and to shift voters between polling districts within the same constituency as per Section 7 of the Elections Act 1958. But the EC does not have the right to shift voters from one constituency to another, be it at the state or federal level, unless it is in the context of a delimitation exercise.

    A blatant example of this illegal delimitation exercise conducted by the Election Commission is in the state seat of N6 Kuala Kubu Baru in the parliamentary seat of P94 Hulu Selangor in the state of Selangor. A total of 14 localities with 5590 voters were moved from the N7 Batang Kali state constituency (won by UMNO in GE2013 with a 5398 vote majority) to the N6 Kuala Kubu Baru state constituency (won by DAP with a 1702 vote majority) as a result of this illegal delimitation exercise. A total of 2 localities with 56 voters were moved from N6 Kuala Kubu Baru to N7 Batang Kali.[1] As a result, the number of voters in N6 Kuala Kubu Baru has increased from 21,186 in GE2013 to 26,720 which represents a whopping increase of 26.1%. At the same time, the number of voters in N7 Batang Kali has decreased from 43578 in GE2013 to 38044 representing a decrease of 12.7%. (See Table 1 below).

    We cannot help but to suspect that this is a strategy being used by the Barisan Nasional to win back the state of Selangor ‘by stealth’ via this illegal delimitation exercise.

    We call upon the Election Commission to revoke the effects of this illegal delimitation exercise and to return the electoral boundaries in Peninsular Malaysia to the boundaries which were used in the 2013 general elections.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament

    Federal Government Gazette: NOTICE OF POLLING DISTRICTS AND POLLING CENTRES FOR THE FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUENCIES OF THE STATES OF MALAYA

    “Illegal Delimitation: Effect on N6 KKB and N7 Batang Kali” (Powerpoint, 20 July 2016)

    [1] The figures are updated up to the Quarter Four (Q4) 2015 electoral roll.

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