Marzuki’s ‘Cambridge’ degree won’t be a big issue in Semenyih, Muhyiddin opines

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (second left) and party secretary-general Marzuki Yahya (left) at a press conference in Semenyih February 9, 2019 — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (second left) and party secretary-general Marzuki Yahya (left) at a press conference in Semenyih February 9, 2019 — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

SEMENYIH, Feb 9 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today made light of the impact the controversy surrounding Datuk Marzuki Yahya’s “Cambridge” degree may have on the party’s campaign in the Semenyih by-election.

The Pagoh MP and federal minister dismissed negative views about PPBM’s image, or if it could face hurdles from the problems confronting its leaders, the most recent being allegations that its secretary-general, Marzuki, had lied about his degree.

Muhyiddin said explanation about Marzuki’s qualification should suffice to allay any suspicion.

“I don’t think there are any big issues affecting us,” Muhyiddin told reporters here after meeting grassroots leaders and party workers.

“If there are issues we would explain, just like our secretary-general here, he too had explained,” he added, pointing to Marzuki who was seated beside him.

Earlier this week, political activist Muhsin Abdul Latheef had 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 Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) secretary-general, 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 US-based Cambridge International University, instead of the renowned Cambridge.

Following calls for his resignation for allegedly misleading the public on his academic qualification, Marzuki said on Facebook last night that he was leaving it to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the PPBM leadership to decide if he should remain a deputy minister.

PPBM will defend the Semenyih state seat by-election, called following the death of its assemblyman Bakhtiar Mohd Nor.

Nomination is on February 16 and voting will take place March 2.