Bersatu accepts Malaysian deputy minister's explanation on 'Cambridge' degree

Malaysia's Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya admitted earlier this month that his degree was from Cambridge International University.
Malaysia's Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya admitted earlier this month that his degree was from Cambridge International University.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA - Malaysia's Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya will remain as the secretary-general of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), party president Muhyddin Yassin said on Tuesday (Feb 12).

This followed a furore over Mr Marzuki's academic qualifications. He had obtained his degree from the dubious American-based Cambridge International University.

National news agency Bernama reported in a tweet quoting Tan Sri Muhyiddin as saying that Datuk Seri Marzuki's explanation on his "Cambridge" degree was sufficient.  

"He has given sufficient explanation. People can say what they want but I have sat and discussed with him and he has issued a statement," Mr Muhyiddin said. 

"If  people are not happy with it, then it is a different story. To me that is enough and he remains as secretary-general." 

Mr Muhyiddin said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will decide on Mr Marzuki's deputy minister post soon

Mr Marzuki, who previously said he had a degree from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom via a distance learning programme, admitted earlier this month that his degree was actually from Cambridge International University.


Cambridge International University is not affiliated with the University of Cambridge.

Since that admission, the institution has come under intense scrutiny and increasing suspicion that it is a "diploma mill" that awards degrees with little or no study.

"I think they (my critics) misunderstood (my credentials). I (studied) at the Cambridge International University in the United States," he was reported as saying by Malaysiakini on Feb 6.

"I was doing logistics (before joining politics). So I just took that certificate for my knowledge to expand my business. As CEO of the company, I want to expand my knowledge and my business," he told the news portal.

Cambridge International University admits on its website that it is not accredited.

The issue has shone the spotlight on some leaders from the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition who were accused of possessing dubious academic qualifications.

These include Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian and Perak executive councillor Paul Yong Choo Kiong.

Madam Zuraida found herself in the spotlight on Saturday after Twitter user Don Juan deRyezal said he was unable to find her name in the National University of Singapore's (NUS) degree verification portal. She later said she had "never claimed or held myself to be a graduate of NUS".

Mr Sabu moved to dismiss rumours that he had faked a degree in culinary arts from Malaysia's Universiti Teknologi MARA, saying he had actually been expelled as a student.

Mr Osman refused to address the issue when asked if his degree from Universiti Putra Malaysia was fake.

Mr Yong, who claimed to hold a Master's in Business Administration from Akamai University, said the issue surrounding him was an attempt by rivals to gain political mileage. However, media reports suggested that Akamai University is an alleged degree mill in Hawaii.

The scandal is embarrassing for the PH coalition, which has always claimed to be a government of high integrity.

Amid all this, former prime minister Najib Razak has said his degree is from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

This was confirmed by his alma mater on Monday night.

"The University of Nottingham's records confirm that Mohammed N. Razak graduated with a BA Hons in Industrial Economics in 1974," the university's spokesman said in a brief e-mail reply to Malay Mail news portal.

Najib, who was born in 1953, was 21 years old in 1974.

However, Najib's name was missing from a list of prominent Malaysian graduates at the University of Nottingham's Malaysia campus's website. The branch campus was set up in 2000.

Malay Mail said Najib was listed as one of the university's Malaysian alumni on the branch campus when it conducted a search of Internet archives via The Wayback Machine.

As such, it is unknown when and why Najib's name was taken off from the current list.