KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — Datuk Marzuki Yahya said today he will leave it to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) leadership to decide if he should remain as deputy foreign minister.
Following an uproar over his alleged fake degree, Marzuki said when he applied for the distance-learning certificate 17 years ago he did not think about the accreditation issue, and did not foresee that he would be part of the government in the future.
“Truthfully and sincerely I have never intended to use my academic qualifications to confuse anyone. This is because my original intent to study 17 years ago was to gain knowledge in the field of business.
“At that time, it has never crossed my mind that one day I would be in my current position as a government administration staff,” he said in a statement on his Facebook page.
He also insisted that he has never promoted himself as a University of Cambridge graduate but a Cambridge International University (CIU) one, and he was not responsible for claiming the former in his Wikipedia page.
Despite Marzuki’s assertion, state news agency Bernama had in a profile of Pakatan Harapan’s new senators in July last year reported that he holds a “Bachelor’s degree in business administration, majoring in logistics via a long-distance learning programme at the University of Cambridge”.
Bernama had also quoted Marzuki as saying earlier this week that he would show proof of his Cambridge certificate, when his credentials were questioned.
Marzuki claimed that when he took his course in 2002 before completing it in 2005, most Malaysians and others worldwide have never had a widespread discourse on university accreditation, any ranking systems or list of “bogus universities”.
“When I found out about the course offered by CIU that was related to my business field, I registered without paying any attention to the accreditation aspect of the courses offered,” he said.
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 PPBM, had then brushed aside the claim as another usual irritation in his political journey.
On Wednesday, he finally admitted that he took the distance-learning programme from an institution called CIU, allegedly based in the United States, instead of the renowned Cambridge.