Thursday, February 28, 2019

Rakyat elected Harapan to institute reforms, not win GE15

Malaysiakini - Yoursay: Rakyat elected Harapan to institute reforms, not win GE15:(extracts)

YOURSAY | ‘Fear of losing a fragile vote bank is no excuse to hold off on reforms.’

Harapan may lose GE15 if it pushes reforms too fast, Saddiq warns

David Dass: Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was not specific as to which of the pledges set out in the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto cannot be implemented now.

Indeed, which of the many reforms pledged will cost Harapan the next election? Surely, the argument cannot be that the pledges that won Harapan GE14 will cost it the next election.

PAS and Umno have come together to fight in GE15. And that will make the difference - or will it? It is hard to believe that two parties which push for race-based politics and policies and religious extremism will win.

What are most of the pledged reforms meant to do?

To improve governance; to reduce corruption; to make the Election Commission independent of politics; to strengthen democracy; to make key civil servants like the attorney-general, the MACC, the auditor-general and the Bank Negara governor answerable only to Parliament; to make the police force more professional and disciplined; to improve our education system; increase worker productivity and wages; ensure the independence and integrity of judges to make government policies and actions more just, fair, and inclusive, et cetera - in other words, to make reforms that would secure democracy, prevent waste and leakages, strengthen the economy, eliminate poverty, and generally make the government more effective, fair and just.

So, what are the reforms that cannot be made now, and why?

The government has four more years to prove to the Malays that their policies will produce better results than previous policies.

Poverty eradication, educational reform, and a clean government are essential. It is hard to believe that these reforms would cost the government the next election.

Newday: No, Syed Saddiq, we want promises kept and reforms to happen as soon as possible.

It is understood that some planning needs to go into the reforms, but unless we see some real action in the next six months, especially in education reform, you will lose any remaining goodwill out there.

Quigonbond: First of all, what is "too fast"? Most people wouldn't consider nine months too fast. You can already make a baby in that time.

If it is, please enlighten the public by showing us progress. You may find us very understanding if we know you are making progress and in the right direction. What we fear is silence.

Second, why cast a blanket approach over all reforms? Thirdly, it's more the case of some Harapan leaders not walking the talk, like political appointments to government-linked companies (GLCs).

Not appointing politicians to GLCs is not going to cost you the next general election. The National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) not making donations is not going to cost Bersatu the next general election.

Making certain ministers and menteris besar answer for dishonesty over their degree isn't going to cost you the next general election.

So please go on and tell us what else you are planning to go slow on (maybe we have an idea about how to speed things up). If you don't, we are well within our rights to assume that you are going slow because of self-interest.

Clever Voter: Not changing or at least reforming the corrupt patronage system is a lousy excuse.

Feudalism and rent-seeking behaviour are rampant and still thriving in many parts of the economy. Harapan lacks the guts to push for change simply because of the fear of losing its fragile vote bank.

In many instances, we see the continuation of such a bad system as a result of apathy or a lack of will to introduce real change.

Syed Saddiq was part of a new generation that advocated for change, and for many who listened to his U-turn, it is simply disappointing. Syed Saddiq needs no reminder that change takes time, and he could at least give a more intelligent answer.

Roger_5201: Dear Syed Saddiq, doing nothing is also not an option.

Harapan has reneged from something as simple as recognising the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) to ratifying the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd).

Why bother with the GE14 manifesto if you never intended to keep it?

Mahu See Lui: Push for reforms now while you still have four years for them to take effect. You may well lose some electoral support, but at least the job is done for the good of the nation. That's what you have been elected to do, instead of looking towards the next election.

There is no guarantee that you will win in the next election, and if reforms promised have not been effected by then, the state of the nation will worsen.

If not, you would have wasted five years and destroyed the aspirations of Malaysians who elected you. Stop thinking of the next election and start doing what you promised.
You are already thinking of protecting yourself even before you have done anything substantial. No wonder, the people are disappointed with Harapan.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Will Mahathir go after 2 years?

Malaysiakini - How to make two years last forever by Martin Vebgadesan:

I once observed that it was a managerial tactic to offer “two years” as a convenient timeframe to put off a decision that it didn’t really want to make.

“How long will I be in Ipoh?” asked a friend who was being transferred out of Petaling Jaya. “Two years” she was told. A year-and-a-half later she inquired again, and “two years” was the ubiquitous reply. She resigned soon after the original two-year deadline came and went.

This time around, while the principle is the same, the “two years” affects all of us. It’s a by-product of an unwieldy election agreement by people who have since repeatedly told us that they never expected to win. And that’s probably why they never agreed on a timeframe when the four Pakatan Harapan parties inked the deal on Jan 6, 2018. The order of succession yes, the timing no.

Let’s not forget that it was the coalition, and not an individual or a party, that defeated the Najib Abdul Razak regime. It would not have happened without any one of Bersatu or PKR or DAP or Amanah - or Warisan, for that matter. And it certainly wouldn’t have happened without the will of the people.

The “two years” figure cropped up quickly after May 9, but I don’t recall it being in the mix when PKR and DAP loyalists were being persuaded to rally behind Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

It was just a convenience, and only became part of the equation when the “new” prime minister asked for two years to fix the problems he had inherited. But the more machinations that unfold, the more the “two years” looks like a ploy to buy time.

To be fair, our prime minister is going to be 94 in July and surely even he can’t envisage himself as a long-term solution. But there are cronies around him urging him to stay. Do we think that the likes of Daim Zainuddin (photo), Taib Mahmud, Kadir Jasin and Co, are keen on a reinvented reformist Malaysia helmed by Anwar Ibrahim and his party?

Would some of them fear a wider investigation into corruption during Mahathir’s first run? Yes, I am aware that Anwar himself would be implicated... but there is nothing to prevent selective investigations of the variety we are already witnessing.

In the meantime, ordinary Malaysians are getting impatient on issues of economy and justice. We want to see some results. Najib and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi are not behind bars. Jho Low is on the run. The missing pastor is still missing. Custodial death inquiries still return the same sort of results. From Teoh Beng Hock to Altantuya Shaariibuu to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC), all sort of probes are ongoing, but nothing has been delivered yet.

Lim Kit Siang with MACC strategic communications director Rohaizad Yaakob (centre) and other opposition leaders at the MACC Office in Putrajaya, August 6, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

what a fCking hypocrite and traitor to Teoh Beng hock's family and his memory

and just one lousy year after his pathetic pompous speech vowing:

Beng Hock’s death would be “in vain” if firstly, his killers remain free and unpunished; and secondly, the MACC is not held responsible and liable for his death and instead allowed to “go to great lengths” to participate in a “cover-up” of the actual causes and circumstances of Beng Hock’s death at the TBH RCI, with MACC officers telling “lies after lies” at the RCI.

I call on Malaysians to stand for justice and to make a commitment that they will not rest until the “cover-up” of Teoh Beng Hock’s criminal and senseless murder is exposed and the killers, including MACC, are brought to justice.

We have so many pending or impending Royal Commissions of Inquiry (RCIs) that it’s only a matter of time before we order an RCI into the number of RCIs!

Need to see tangible improvements

As for the economy, yes we are relieved that a kleptocracy has fallen. But it was only at one level and our business model has corruption woven into it at so many levels. We need to see some tangible improvements that affect the common man. And I mean the middle 40 percent income group, as well as the bottom 40.

"Enough with street politics. Enough with backroom politics" is the cry. Malaysians have become so used to reactive politics and an administration running from one by-election to the next like a pet seeking constant approval. We are in danger of becoming apathetic and disillusioned again, and slowly surrendering the gains of the "revolution by ballot box" of May 9.

It’s disheartening to see an elected administration worrying about the feelings of right-wing Malays who didn’t support the government in the first place. How about the voice of the progressives of all races? Don’t they mean more? The actual day-to-day governing is important.

Right now, it should be about administration, not campaigning. The mandate is still a strong one. This government needs to have clarity of vision and the guys to make difficult decisions.

It’s high time leaders like Mahathir, Abdul Hadi Awang, Lim Kit Siang, Najib and indeed Anwar himself look to a future that exists beyond them. They all have been public figures for at least 40 years and we need fresh blood, surely.

Anwar will be nearly 73 years old when the two-year deadline is up, and he can hardly be held up as a leader for the long-term.

Yet, at the same time, the Anwar premiership is a must, partly because the succession agreement was a promise to the people of Malaysia that cannot be broken. And partly because the prime minister’s post should go to a Malay-led multi-racial party, which is the only sustainable blueprint for the future.

I regret to say that many Malaysians have a poor sense of analysis and are easily distracted by smoke screens and shadow plays.

That’s why people were able to whip up more anger over Anwar’s move to contest in Port Dickson than against Mahathir for accepting former Umno MPs into Bersatu, even though the former’s action was in keeping with the succession plan, and the latter’s does not appear to be so.

goofy gullible guppies 

The roadmaps and agreements that brought us a historic new beginning must be adhered to, not discarded like soiled diapers.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Oz Cardinal guilty of pedophilia, Oz reporters guilty of contempt of court

Sun Daily - After Cardinal Pell verdict, Australian journalists may face jail (extracts):

George Pell
once Australia's Top Cardinal and also Vatican Treasurer

SYDNEY: Dozens of Australian reporters and editors may face jail sentences for their coverage of Vatican Treasurer George Pell’s child sex abuse trial after being issued with legal notices asking why they should not be charged with contempt of court.

Pell was found guilty in 2018 of abusing two boys, but a court suppression order prohibited media from reporting about the trial at the time to ensure Pell a fair second trial on further abuse charges. Those additional charges were dropped on Tuesday, allowing the suppression order to be lifted and media reports of the trial to be published.

The suppression order had applied throughout Australia “and on any website or other electronic or broadcast format accessible within Australia”.

However, when Pell was found guilty on Dec 11, some Australian media ran headlines, including one that said “CENSORED”, and articles referring to a trial where an unnamed high-profile person was convicted of a serious crime that could not be reported.

County Court of Victoria Chief Judge Peter Kidd, who oversaw the Pell trial, made his displeasure with media coverage clear two days after the verdict, calling a hearing with state prosecutors and Pell’s defence team.

“My thinking at the minute... that given how potentially egregious and flagrant these breaches are, a number of very important people in the media are facing, if found guilty, the prospect of imprisonment and indeed substantial imprisonment,“ Kidd said. The lifting of the suppression order means his comments can now be made public.

The maximum penalties for contempt of court in Victoria state are five years jail and a fine of more than A$96,000 (US$69,000), while a company can face a fine of nearly A$500,000.

Victoria’s The Age newspaper on Tuesday said that the state’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had issued 32 show cause notices to its journalists and other mastheads owned by parent Nine Entertainment Co asking them to explain why they should not be charged.

Era before UMNO Education Ministers

FMT - Change the teachers to improve the education system by A Kathirasen:

I was having tea with my old schoolmate Lim Kah Huat on Sunday when he informed me that the grandson of a famous principal of our alma mater had visited the school a day earlier.

Anthony Thyndale had come to Malaysia – his first visit since he left Malaya aged six – and made it a point to visit Kind Edward VII School of Taiping (KE7) where his grandfather R P S Walker had served as principal from 1931 to 1939.

King Edward VII School Old Boys Association of Malaysia president Mohaideen Mohd Ishack and several committee members took Thyndale, a retired headmaster, and his wife around the school and hosted a dinner at the Taiping New Club.

Thyndale’s father served the British army in Malaya, but Thyndale was shipped off to England to study when he was six.

Walker has a splendid reputation both as a teacher and an administrator and left the school greater than before when he left.

When Lim told me about it, I recalled some words of Walker which I had read while editing a souvenir book about the school some years back. It also brought to mind the recent outburst by a retired headmaster about our education system having hit “rock bottom”.

Old Edwardians and school officials with Anthony Thyndale and his wife. Mohaideen is standing third from left 

On Feb 14, V Chakaravathy, who retired as the principal of a school in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, in 1995, told Education Minister Maszlee Malik and 200 others at a forum on “Malaysian Education” organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute that the quality of teachers had deteriorated drastically from the 1990s.

He said the situation was so bad that parents had to send their children for tuition after school. Teachers today, he said, had lost their commitment to the job because the system did not reward excellence.

Walker, on the other hand, had plenty of passion and commitment as a teacher and when he became principal, rewarded teachers who excelled.

He used to repeat this idea that “the teacher is the school and the school the teacher”.

To ensure the school produced well-rounded students he would get his teachers to give talks on current issues and contemporary ideas to students. He himself would give weekly lectures to the older boys on current events and contemporary history and economics. To improve the quality of their thinking, he would put them through an intensive course of reading selected books.

Walker believed that the school should teach a boy to learn and that the university should teach him to teach himself. That explains why his headship saw a golden age of academic distinction at KE7.

I think Maszlee, who is revamping the education system, should pay heed to Walker’s views. In fact, I would urge Maszlee to study the principles and methods of the early principals of our earliest schools such as the Penang Free School (established 1816) King Edward VII (established 1883) and Malay College Kuala Kangsar (established 1905).

Bapak Kasut Hotam 

Maszlee should certainly study the way another KE7 principal, the famous Long Heng Hua administered the school (1964 to 1982). I should know, for he was principal when I studied there. KE7 soared to great heights in both sports and academic achievements under Long. He was so dedicated to the school that I heard he twice passed over an offer to be the Perak state director of education.

Many of us who were educated between the 1950s and 1970s will surely recall the wonderfully dedicated 
teachers we had.

KE7 Old Boys Association president Mohaideen Mohd Ishack entertaining Anthony Thyndale and his wife in Taiping

Mohaideen, at the risk of offending some teachers today, told me the attitude of teachers today was different.

“Teachers in the 1950s and 1960s were known for their passion and dedication. They not only understood fully what they were teaching, they would go the extra mile to make sure their students understood the material too.

“My English teacher would sit down with us to explain Macbeth because we had difficulty understanding Shakespeare’s language. My Mathematics teacher Cheah Keat Hin knew I was weak in Mathematics so he would ask me to come to the school in the afternoon where he would coach me.

“Our teachers would watch over us and even showed concern about whether we had eaten at home or during recess.”

Mohaideen reminded me about how then SP Setia chairman Wan Zahid Mohd Nordin cried while visiting the school in February last year when the topic of his teachers came up.

The media then quoted Wan Zahid, a former education director-general, as saying: “I come from a poor family, so while my friends rushed to the tuck shop, I wouldn’t be able to afford any food. I had to wait to go home for lunch. But the teacher, Lim Eng Hong, made it a point to walk around (during recess). He gave me 20 sen, and said ‘don’t be shy’.”

Mohaideen said teachers such as A K Sabapathy, Yeoh Teng Khoo, Lim Swee Chin and Utam Singh would go out of their way to help students, although they were very strict.

“Utam Singh would even drop by at my father’s shop and enquire whether I was studying at home.”

Mohaideen, who was the school champion in the 110 yards, 220 yards and 440 yards sprints, once broke the record in the northern region combined school sports meet in the 110 yards. His principal A L McCorkindale had noticed that Mohaideen had run with his bare feet while runners of other schools had worn spikes.

Immediately after the meet, which was held in Ipoh, McCorkindale drove Mohaideen in his car straight to a sports good store in Taiping and bought him a pair of spikes using his own money.

The businessman also related how principal Long had helped a student and an office boy move up in their lives. He said Tan Thean Hoo’s father was a hawker selling ice and tidbits. After Tan passed Form 6, the father wanted him to help with his business as he did not have money to send his son to the university.

After convincing the father to let his son continue his studies, Long managed to get a scholarship for the younger Tan to study in the US.

There was an office boy named Amin in KE7. Long encouraged him to study Form 3 and later Form 5 after work. With the backing of Long, Amin sat as a private candidate and passed the exams. Long pushed him to continue studying, so Amin went on to university and retired as a bank manager, Mohaideen said.

“This is the type of teachers and principals we had. It is so different today. Teachers then were concerned regardless of whether you smoked in school or outside school. Today, they don’t bother. There is no passion among teachers today,” he said.

an UMNO Education Minister

Monday, February 25, 2019

Bromance of Nazri Aziz & Lim GE

MM Online - Why are you even still with BN? Just leave already, Nazri tells MCA (extracts):

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — MCA should just leave Barisan Nasional (BN) like other former component parties, Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said today.

Nazri, who is also BN secretary-general, said MCA should follow the footsteps of previous BN component parties like Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia and several Sarawak-based parties if they did not like BN.

“MCA in our coalition? I thought they wanted to dissolve BN and in the previous by-election, they contested in Balakong under their own party banner.

“Constructively they are not part of BN because they do not agree with us,” he told reporters during a press conference in Menara Dato Onn, PWTC here.

“Honestly I do not understand what they are up to. I do not know. I think they need to explain to us,” he said

Nazri Aziz has had a long running war of words with MCA, wakakaka. He sneered (obviously still does) at the MCA for not being able to pull its weight in BN as long as several years back, when the DAP started growing stronger and stronger in attracting the majority of the Chinese Malaysian voters away.

Nazri was pretty blunt and open about his views, declaring it'd be better for UMNO to "do business" with a muscular-growing DAP than with an enervated MCA.

Politically-usefulness-wise Nazri has been right in his assessment though coalition-wise very undiplomatic to a BN member, wakakaka. And everyone in politics knew and knows Nazri Aziz favours the DAP especially his matey Lim GE.

Nazri is now rubbing it in, in responding to MCA and Gerakan for calling him a racist in a Semenyih campaign speech - for more, see FMT's I wasn’t being racist, says Nazri over controversial speech in Semenyih.

Nazri-Guan Eng holding hands in a DAP-UMNO 'bromance'


How to certify fish is halal?

MM Online - Fish reared on pork-based feed in Penang isolated case, says Fisheries Dept (extracts):

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 24 — The recent expose by the Penang Consumer Association (CAP) that pork-based feed was given to farm fish was that of an isolated case, the Department of Fisheries (DoF) said yesterday.

According to the department, it has been regularly conducting halal checks on fish and related products such as fish food and flour since 2010 to trace the presence of porcine DNA.

A total of 846 samples were taken between 2016 and 2018, and only 4.9 per cent was found to contain porcine DNA.

“To curb the problem, immediate action was taken against the fish food supplier, where the main ingredient (protein) was switched to that of a halal source,” it said

I wonder about the above as I am not a Muslim nor familiar with the Malaysian halal-regulations except only in its simplest form.

Mind, I have heard of alleged porcine DNA in Cadbury chocolates which were eventually dismissed by JAKIM as not true. Then there was the no-entry to un-halal-certified birthday cakes at MacDonald.

Most fishes including prawns, squids and shellfish, as we know, are omnivorous thus they eat "anything", especially when they are wild ones at sea. How then will such fishes caught at sea or in rivers by fishermen be considered?

Then what about kijangs (deer) which eat grass and shrubs which have been fertilised by boars' droppings?

And chooks including birds (jungle fowl)?

And even worse would be the kambings (goats) which eat anything and I mean "anything" including empty cans. And also, what if the grass and shrubs they munch on have been fertilised by non-kosher animals?

As a non-Muslim I apologise for saying this - no offence meant: I personally don't think the al Quran goes to that extent on the halal-ness of food.

Of course in the end it's the Malaysian Muslim authorities 'surveilling' (new kaytee's verb-word from 'surveillance', wakakaka) halal food who will make the assessment and decision.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Don't be insensitive to non-Abrahamic religions

Malaysiakini - Police urged to take swift action after Hindu idols found at Klang surau (extracts):

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa has called on authorities to take swift action and put an end to alleged attempts to stoke religious tension.

This follows the reported discovery of two Hindu idols placed on the wall of the Sabilul Huda surau in Klang, just three days after a statue of a deity, also known as 'Datuk Gong', was found outside its entrance

Apart from an earlier prank being repeated, to wit, placing non-Islamic religious icons in or on the perimeter walls of a surau, which BTW is not funny and in fact can be dangerously provocative and inflammatory, the use of the word "idol" as in "Hindu idols" in above news article has been quite insensitive.

The word "idol" is at best condescending, and can even be far worse and insultingly derogatory. It's not unlike the earlier years of British colonialism when Christians referred to images, statuettes or icons of Buddha and Bodhisattva as "pagan gods" (when the Buddha and Bodhisattva were/are NOT gods).

A better word in above Malaysiakini article would have been "icon" or even better, "Hindu religious icons".

Foctoral degree in Deformasi does not rape or rob

Malaysiakini - Harapan’s immoral stance on fake degrees by P GUNASEGARAM

The lack of action against Pakatan Harapan politicians holding key positions over the alleged use of fake degrees is worrisome and reflects further evidence of a decline in moral standards within the coalition.

When fake degrees became a big issue among Umno/BN politicians, the Umno politicians simply carried on in their positions, as if they had never lied about their degrees or misrepresented their qualifications, which may be a crime in some circumstances.

Now we see a slew of such allegations being made against Harapan coalition members. Conspicuous by their absence are voices within Harapan calling for a complete explanation by those implicated and expulsion from their posts. This is a highly immoral, unethical and hypocritical stance.

The component parties of Harapan are now tongue-tied over their own members being accused of holding fake degrees when they were so loud in their proclamations for explanations and expulsions when they were previously in the opposition.

Let’s look at the more recent dirty half-dozen cases to see how much substance there is for each of the claims, and how they have stacked up in terms of proper explanations and replying to allegations.

1. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (DAP)
So far, Lim Guan Eng is the highest-ranking cabinet member, as finance minister, to have been accused of misrepresenting his qualifications. He is also secretary-general of DAP, the number one person in the party.

MCA president Wee Ka Siong questioned whether Lim is a qualified professional accountant, although he did not question his university degree.

However, Lim’s political secretary Tony Pua replied, without directly addressing the question of whether Lim (photo) is a professional accountant, that Lim became a member of the Australian Society of Accountants as soon as he finished his degree in 1983, with the degree being awarded in 1984.

The membership certificate clearly states it is a provisional membership. Professional organisations normally require a period of practice and additional examinations after graduation to qualify as a professional accountant, usually called chartered accountants or certified public accountants. In Malaysia, they are also required to be members of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants.

Thus it is that MCA’s Wee retorted, despite Pua’s threat that Lim may take action against those who question his educational credentials, that a provisional membership is far from being a fully certified chartered accountant.

So far, despite the controversy, no evidence has been adduced to show that Lim is a chartered or certified public accountant or that he has a full membership in a recognised professional accounting body. According to this report, Lim declined to answer questions relating to whether he is a chartered accountant, making the situation unclear.

In a 2012 news report, Lim had claimed that he was a failed accountant, and everything turned out well because he became chief minister. All of which imply that Lim has some explaining to do, which he has not. A terrible position for a finance minister to be in, don’t you agree?

2. Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian (Bersatu Pribumi)

The menteri besar of Johor - Bersatu’s Pribumi's Osman Sapian - smiled when he was asked about his degree and did not answer. Subsequently, he clarified that he did not complete his university studies.

The Johor government's website previously showed that Osman had a degree and diploma in accounting from Universiti Putra Malaysia. It did not state when these certificates were obtained.

This is a clear-cut open-and-shut case of lying about one’s qualifications. If you can lie about that, what else will you also lie about? Not safe to keep him as menteri besar.

3. Housing Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR)
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin
denied that she had a degree in social science from the National University of Singapore. “I have never claimed or held myself to be a graduate of NUS, and I have never authorised anyone else to do so," she said in a statement.

However, there is an infographic by Bernama, which listed Zuraida (photo) as an NUS graduate. The infographic was created when she was appointed to the cabinet in May last year.
Zuraida told Malaysiakini that Bernama did not verify this information with her. Maybe, but why did she not correct Bernama, and who gave Bernama the qualification? Does Bernama simply add the qualification? Pertinent questions yet to be answered.

4. Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya (Bersatu Pribumi)

Bersatu Pribumi secretary-general and deputy foreign minister Marzuki Yahya started the ball rolling with a claim that he had a degree in business administration from Cambridge University, the renowned university in the UK which is regularly on the top 10 lists of universities in the world. Turns out that Cambridge does not even award such a degree.

Eventually, Marzuki came clean, admitting he got it from Cambridge International University, a notorious US degree mill. He claimed he took three years to get his degree. He left his fate in the good hands of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad no less, which, as it turns out, was a wise decision.

Not long after, he sat on Mahathir’s left as he (Mahathir) performed the despicable, immoral, unethical and hypocritical act of welcoming former Umno MPs into Bersatu. What was a fake degree compared to that?

Bapak Ops Lalang 

Marzuki is safe, but he may have to endure some sniggering when he negotiates lofty state matters with his counterparts in other countries.

5. DAP assemblyperson Paul Yong Choo Kiong

And then there is Perak (Tronoh) DAP assemblyperson Paul Yong Choo Kiong, who has an MBA from the dubious Akamai University (I have not heard of it either) in the US. He has no degree qualification, which raises questions as to how he qualified to study for a higher degree.

[kaytee's note: some MBA and Masters programs accept entrants based on their individual extensive (appropriate) work including senior military qualifications (command & staff college), so a basic (Bachelor's) degree or advanced diploma may not be necessary]

But Perak DAP chairperson Nga Kor Ming claimed that Yong passed his examinations and said that the problem was that the MBA was not recognised by Malaysia. While one must commend Nga’s readiness to come to Yong’s defence, one must condemn the lack of investigation into the qualifications of Yong (photo). 

According to Akamai’s website, even the US education authority does not recognise its degree. “AKAMAI UNIVERSITY IS NOT ACCREDITED BY AN ACCREDITING AGENCY RECOGNIZED BY THE UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF EDUCATION”, it says in block letters.

Surely it is wrong to put up educational qualifications from such a disreputable university.

6. The Harapan candidate for Semenyih

Finally, Harapan’s candidate for the Semenyih by-election, Muhammad Aiman Zainali from Bersatu Pribumi, had to explain himself two days into the campaign trail. The 30-year-old attempted to clear the air about his doctorate after discrepancies were found in his biodata and LinkedIn profile. But it left a lot of doubts. 

Campaign flyers have listed him as pursuing a PhD in electrical engineering, but his LinkedIn profile states that he had completed his studies in 2016.

“When I created the account, I had listed that I expected to graduate by 2016, but that didn’t happen because I had to put my studies on hold to take care of my ill grandmother.” That’s convenient but why did he not update his account? Does one claim he has completed his studies even before he has?

These are serious issues. They are not witch hunts, as claimed by DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, Guan Eng’s father. It was an uncharacteristic statement by a person who has devoted his life to the truth. One must ascertain if wrong claims have been made, as it reflects on a person’s integrity and honesty.

Two cabinet ministers, a menteri besar, a deputy minister and an election candidate are involved. In terms of parties, three are from Bersatu Pribumi, two from DAP and one from PKR. It is serious enough to warrant complete explanations from those involved and for action to be taken against them.

So far, there is not so much as even a word of admonition from top party leaders, but ridiculous explanations such as “at least he did not rape or rob” to excuse some of the actions. That’s very disappointing for a party that is supposed to reform this country.