Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Election Strategist, Democratic Party, in Kuala Lumpur on the 17th of April, 2013
The BN candidates for Selangor were revealed yesterday with great fanfare. The lineup is crucial for the most economically developed state in Malaysia and also the state which Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, as state chairman and elections director, is under great pressure to wrest back from Pakatan Rakyat.
Najib was quoted as saying that “This is the lineup that will not only see us win the state, but also to form a strong government.” Mohd Zin Mohamed, BN Selangor coordinator was quoted as saying that “Our candidates are highly competent, dynamic and progressive. They are qualified individuals from various backgrounds who can take the state to greater heights in tandem with the Economic Transformation Program (ETP).”
Given these superlatives which were being used to describe the BN Selangor lineup, it is highly disappointing that 5 of the BN candidates, two at the parliamentary level and three at the state level, listed academic qualifications from institutions that can be best described as being ‘degree mills’ – in other words, fake universities and colleges which issue bogus academic degrees for a payment.
The most shocking revelation is the listed qualification of the BN candidate for P103 Puchong – A. Kohilan Pillay A/L G Appu – who received an M.SC in Commercial and Industrial Economy (sic) from the Pacific Western University in the United States. This ‘university’ was found to be a degree mill, lawsuits were taken up against it and it was subsequently shut down. What is even more shocking is that the candidate is Malaysia’s (caretaker) Deputy Foreign Minister! It is a disgrace to the country if indeed our Deputy Foreign Minister is a leader who has ‘bought’ a degree from a degree mill in order to bolster his own credentials.
|P103 PUCHONG||A. KOHILAN PILLAY A/L G APPU46 TAHUN (670724106491)M.SC COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY, PACIFIC WESTERN UNIVERSITY, AS.PENGERUSI PARTI GERAKAN RAKYAT MALAYSIA SELANGORTIMBALAN MENTERI LUAR NEGARA+0193503806|
The second most shocking revelation is the listed qualification of the BN candidate for P110 Klang, Teh Kim Poo, who is also the current chairman of the Port Klang Authority (PKA). Teh is listed as having obtained a PhD in Business Administration from the New Port University in the United States. This is the same university which the caretaker Menteri Besar of Perlis, Md Isa Sabu, obtained his PhD from. My colleague in the DAP, National Publicity Secretary, Tony Pua had blogged about New Port University being a dubious university way back in 2006. Even The Star newspaper reported this university, back in 2009, as a degree mill. What is disconcerting is the fact that Teh’s role as PKA Chairman requires him to exercise transparency especially in dealing with the aftermath of the PKFZ scandal, which the PKA and the government of Malaysia is still paying for.
|P110 KLANG||TEH KIM POO62 TAHUN (510826106099)PHD BUSINESS ADMIN, UNIVERSITY NEW PORT, ASPENYELARAS PARLIMEN KLANGAHLI PERNIAGAAN+60122926352|
Three other state candidates have listed qualifications from well-known degree mills. BN candidate for N33 Taman Medan, Ab Wahab Bin Ibrahim, is listed as having a PhD in Public Service from the infamous Irish International University. The BBC reported this university as a bogus university as a result of a sting operation in 2008.
|N33 TAMAN MEDAN||AB WAHAB BIN IBRAHIM61 TAHUN (511017015669)PHD. PERKHIDMATAN AWAM, IRISH INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITYPENGERUSI BIRO AGAMA UMNO BAHAGIANLEMBAGA PENGARAH DAN PENGERUSI JAWATANKUASA AUDIT TANJUNG OFF SHORE+60193877508|
BN candidate for N47 Pandamaran, Ching Eu Boon, is listed as having a PhD in Network Marketing from the St George University International which has also been reported to be a degree mill.
|N47 PANDAMARAN||CHING EU BOON46 TAHUN (670716105135)PHD NETWORK MARKETING, ST GEORGE UNIVERSITY INTERNATIONAL, UKKETUA PPMCA BAHAGIAN KLANGAHLI PERNIAGAAN+60193109897|
BN candidate for N25 Kajang, Lee Ban Seng, is listed as having received a degree from the Rutherford University (also known as the Senior University International and Stratford International University) which also has been reported as a degree mill.
|N25 KAJANG||LEE BAN SENG43 TAHUN (700228105595)IJAZAH PENGURUSAN PERNIAGAAN, UNIVERSITI RUTHERFORD, ASPENGERUSI MCA BHG. HULU LANGATPENGARAH URUSAN JLF HOLDING SDN. BHD.+60193310439|
There is nothing in our election laws and regulations which state that a candidate must have a degree as a requirement for running for public office. Truthfully speaking, having academic qualifications, even at the postgraduate level, from prestigious universities all over the world do not automatically make one person a better candidate than someone without a degree.
However, candidates who feel as if they had to ‘buy’ a degree, either at the undergraduate, masters or postgraduate levels, inevitably call their own integrity into question. If these candidates are willing to dupe voters about their academic qualifications, which is an important part of any person’s life, what other areas of life would these candidates be willing to lie about including in areas of public interest such as the management of public funds and the proper and responsible use of public resources?
I call upon these 5 BN Selangor candidates to explain and to refute the fact that all of them have listed qualifications from reported degree mills. If they cannot properly explain to the voters, I urge them to withdraw themselves from contesting in the 13th General Election.