KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 — Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya has come clean today that he did not attend University of Cambridge, despite previously claiming he taken a long-distance course for a Bachelor of Business Administration degree there.
In a report by Malaysiakini, Marzuki said his degree in business administration is from the United States-based Cambridge International University — an institution whose reputation has been questioned.
"I think [my critics] misunderstood [my credentials]. I [studied] at the Cambridge International University in the US.
"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 was quoted telling Malaysiakini.
Earlier this week, political activist Muhsin Abdul Latheef lodged a police report over a Facebook account holder’s claim in a February 3 post that the University of Cambridge did not offer a distance-learning programme in business administration that Marzuki claims to have pursued.
Marzuki, who is the Penang chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, had then brushed aside the claim as another usual irritation in his political journey.
His admission today came following an intense editing battle on his Wikipedia page by anonymous accounts.
An Internet search by Malay Mail showed at least two institutions bearing the name “Cambridge International University”.
One, which purports to offer “Distance Learning System" is registed in Malaga, Spain. The other is allegedly based in the United States.
Wikipedia also listed two others bearing the same name located in Cape Town, South Africa and Arizona, US.
The one that could be found on Google, that claims to be in the US, offers its degrees for US$5,000 (RM20,000) in total fees.
According to its website, it is not accredited by any accreditation agency approved by the US Department of Education.
“There is no mandate by federal law for a School, College or University to be accredited. Many good schools are not accredited,” it said.
In 2013, the minister in the Prime Minister Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim told the Dewan Rakyat that there are no laws to penalise those with fake degrees including ministers.
DAP’s Ong Kian Ming, now himself a deputy minister, had in the past claimed then Serian MP and human resources minister Datuk Richard Riot Jaem and then Ranau MP Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin had received degrees from universities identified as degree mills.