Both of our deputy foreign ministers have two degrees each from bogus universities

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Election Strategist, Democratic Party, in Kuala Lumpur on the 18th of April, 2013

Yesterday, I released a media statement revealing that 5 BN candidates had fake degrees from dubious universities. One of the candidates highlighted was none other than Deputy Foreign Minister, A. Kohillan Pillay, who is listed as having obtained a Masters in Commercial and Industrial Economy from the Pacific Western University in the United States.

Malaysiakini quoted Kohillan’s response in threatening to take legal action against me – “Anyway I will see about suing Ong for making such an allegation”. [1] I challenge Kohillan to take legal action against me because not only does he have a Masters degree from a bogus university, his undergraduate degree is also from a bogus university!

A check on the Minister of Foreign Affairs Website shows Kohillan’s qualifications as follows:

“He graduated with a Bachelor of Economic (Hons.) from the Connaught University, Republic of Ireland in 1991. He later pursued and completed his postgraduate degree, Master of Science (M. Sc) Commercial and Industrial Economy from the Pacific Western University, United States of America in 1992.” [2]

Not only does Connaught University, Republic of Ireland not have a website, it was among the list of ‘dubious institutions’ listed down by the Star in a Starprobe investigation, right alongside the Pacific Western University![3]

What is even more shocking is that in the same Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, the academic qualifications of the other Deputy Foreign Minister, Richard Riot, is also equally dubious!

“He also holds a Diploma on personnel Management from Cambridge Tutorial College, Jersey, Britain. He obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration from Chartered Institute of Business Administration (Ireland), Teoranta in 1994 and Master of Business Administration from Preston University, United States of America.”[4]

Not only could I not find any website belonging to the abovementioned Chartered Institute of Business Administration (Ireland), Teoranta, Preston University is a well-known bogus university as reported by numerous newspaper reports.[5]

In other words, both our deputy foreign ministers have not one but two degrees from dubious universities! And to think that they had the temerity to list their bogus qualifications on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs! Such behavior is totally unethical and unacceptable for any leader, not to mention two national leaders that are supposed to represent our nation on the international stage!

In February earlier this year, German Education Minister Annette Schavan had to resign because it was discovered that part of her doctoral thesis had been plagiarized.[6] This is a demonstration of how a normal democracy would treat this kind of dishonest behavior. But only in Malaysia would we allow two Deputy Foreign Ministers to get away with having not just one but TWO fake degrees each!

In replying to Malaysiakini, BN candidate Lee Ben Seng from the MCA, who is the candidate for N25 Kajang, was reported to have said that he graduated not from Rutherford University, as stated in the press release given by the Barisan Nasional, but that his degree is from the American Liberty University. The problem remains since the American Liberty University is also reported to be a degree mill and a non-accredited university![7]

Since my press statement came out, many concerned citizens have come forward to inform me that there are other BN candidates who also have degrees from dubious universities. This includes Nicole Wong, who is the MCA candidate for Seputeh. Nicole is reported to have an MBA from the West Coast University Panama[8], which is another university whose credentials are suspect and is not recognized by the National Council of University Assessment and Accreditation (CONEAUPA) in Panama.[9] It is also listed as one of the universities which are ‘unauthorized schools’ and which issues ‘invalid degrees’ by the state of Oregon in the United States.[10]

Let me reiterate again – I am not saying that one needs to be a graduate to be in a publicly elected official. What I am totally against the buying of degrees at whatever level – undergraduate, Masters or PhD – from degree mills since it goes against the very spirit of what the education process is supposed to be about. Not having a degree does not disqualify someone from being a candidate. But having lied about how one has obtained a degree most certainly disqualifies a person, from an integrity standpoint, from being a candidate.

I reiterate my call for all these candidates to explain to the public whether their degrees were properly earned or whether they were ‘purchased’. If they acknowledge that their degrees were purchased, I call for them to withdraw their candidacy for the upcoming 13th general election.

2 Replies to “Both of our deputy foreign ministers have two degrees each from bogus universities”

  1. This is horrendous! However I disagree with kian Ming on 1 point. We do need people of certain minimum credentials for public ministerial positions. How can we allow people with questionable intelligence to be ministers or deputy ministers? They must be held to a higher standard than any one else! Malaysia deserves better!!

    1. Holding degrees is not a guarantee of intelligence. But that’s besides the point. I agree with Dr Ong that these candidates should withdraw. They cannot be trusted, especially with a history of buying degrees.

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