Johor MB apologises, admits no UPM qualifications

Osman’s ‘academic credentials’ have since been removed from the Johor state government portal. — Picture Roysten Rueben
Osman’s ‘academic credentials’ have since been removed from the Johor state government portal. — Picture Roysten Rueben

JOHOR BARU, Feb 14 — Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian today admitted that he does not hold any academic qualifications from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

His admission earlier today also saw the Johor state government portal changing Osman’s biodata by removing his academic credentials, leaving only his career achievements and progress.

This comes following a report by Sinar Harian quoting Osman as saying he felt responsible and directed all false information relating to his diploma and degree from UPM to be taken down from any official websites.

“I once studied at Kolej Pertanian Malaya before it was upgraded into UPM but I never completed my studies.

“Without my knowledge, several websites claimed I graduated with an accounting diploma and degree from UPM,” the Johor Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman told Sinar Harian.

Osman was also reported by the Malay daily to have apologised to all Malaysians over the “confusion and misunderstanding” over his academic qualifications.

Osman, who is also the Kempas assemblyman, is among several PH leaders who had questionable academic qualifications.

A portal last week questioned Osman’s academic background and alleged that he did not hold any academic qualifications from the university.

Meanwhile, a Johor PH leader has tonight come out in support of Osman’s admission over his lack of academic qualifications.

Johor PKR deputy chairman Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said he applauded Osman’s action to admit that he did not complete his studies, describing it as a courageous act.

“One of the key attributes of a leader is the courage to confront the truth, admit his wrong and apologise if need to be.

“Honestly, how many will actually do that? Thus, this is something most commendable.

To err is human, to forgive divine,” Puah said in a statement issued here tonight.

Puah, who is the Bukit Batu assemblyman, is the first Johor PH leader to publicly declare his support for Osman in light of his admission.

The Johor International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee chairman said despite the episode, he has full confidence in Osman’s leadership and his ability to continue leading Johor in his capacity as Johor’s mentri besar.

He urged the public and Osman’s critics to not be hasty and denounce his lack of academic qualifications.

“Instead I appeal to the rakyat of Johor to judge him (Osman) by his work ethics and his determination to make Johor a more prosperous state.

“So let us all give Osman and his team a chance to fulfil the rakyat mandate and let the result speak for itself,” appealed Puah.