Fake thesis and pseud-PhDs – why no action by Mustapha and higher education ministry?

New Straits Times carried a scoop today with its front-page expose: “PSST, WANT YOUR THESIS WRITTEN” and its page 4 lead story “Phantom writers an ‘open secret’” on “Hundreds of master’s and PhD students are getting ‘professional thesis writers’ to pen their theses”.

The Higher Education Ministry is aware of such intellectual fraud and university scam but is not doing anything about it.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Kiat admitted:

“I have heard that some students are even placing notices at campuses requesting for the services of thesis writers.

“There are also those who offer their services by placing notices at the campuses.

“The institutions should immediately find out who these people are.”

Ong advised students not to resort to such unethical means to obtain their degrees as they were not only cheating themselves but also society.

He said his ministry was unable to take action as neither the students, the professional thesis writers nor the institutions of higher learning had come forward with complaints or information.

The NST reported a case of RM8,000 paid by a mature student to get a Masters thesis written.

The market rate for such fake thesis writing are:


Term Papers RM17 per page
Academic writing RM153 per page

Custom-made term papers

5-10 Days Delivery RM44.20 per page
3-4 Days Delivery RM51 per page
2 Days Delivery RM68 per page
14-Hour – Next Morning
Delivery RM92 per page

Ong is wrong and seriously remiss in discharging his duties as Deputy Higher Education Minister in not doing anything to check and eradicate these intellectual fraudulent malpractices in our universities.

Since Ong knew about such intellectual fraud of fake thesis writing and pseudo-PhDs, the Higher Education Minister, Datuk Mustapha Mohamed would have known or Ong would have failed in his duty in not keeping his Minister informed of such serious intellectual transgressions in our universities.

Why didn’t Mustapha or Ong sent officers from his Ministry incognito into universities where such intellectual malpractices are rampant to verify and root them out?

Is this because intellectual dishonesty is the order of the day in the entire Malaysian university system with the adoption of the fraudulent meritocracy system by equating two completely different examinations – STPM and matriculation – of the same standards for university entrance despite the vast gap in intellectual attainments for both examinations?

So long as Mustapha and Ong continue to defend the indefensible, claiming that STPM and matriculation are of the same standards, refusing to jettison the fraudulent meritocracy system and replace it with a common university entrance examination for all students, nobody can expect them to be rigorous about upholding high intellectual standards to ensure university quality and excellence.

It is no wonder that our universities are also plagued by other abuses and malpractices of intellectual dishonesty or fraud, like plagiarism by university lecturers. In fact, there is one case where an academician who was promoted to be Vice Chancellor although he had been dogged by serious allegations of plagiarism.

Mustapha and Ong cannot sit pretty doing nothing about the New Straits Times expose of fake thesis writing and pseudo-PhDs if they are serious about the Higher Education Strategic Plan to create world-class universities – even if it is going to take decades.

  1. #1 by smeagroo on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 2:45 pm

    we not only hv VC who has a tainted past but VC from a chambermaid background. Our education system is going to the dogs and one way for them to promote instant “smart arse” is to keep one eye clsoed to such rampant abuse. Imagine if no services are offered you expect those half past six students to pass? But why start to investigate the rot at Uni level when the root of the problem started at lower level of the education system. Leakages and “soalan ramalan” are the order of the day. Parents pay big bucks to get an unfair advantage.

    Maybe about time the Edu Minister drop the standard even lower so that ppl dont have to resort to cheating. Afterall, what’s the difference? We are churning out useless graduates year after year now.

  2. #2 by pwcheng on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 2:53 pm

    Looks like this country has become the land of pirates. First it was pirated vcds, then pirated ICPMC and now pirated thesis. Are we descending from a land of gloom to a land of doom?

  3. #3 by max2811 on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 3:15 pm

    Bloody shameful thing to do.

  4. #4 by Superply on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 3:25 pm

    sigh… pirates of the bolehland.

  5. #5 by max2811 on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 3:25 pm

    Don’t blame Ong. He has no power. He is just a puppet. Someone to fill up the post. The only people who can do anything are UMNaziO appointed deans. But they themselves bought their own thesis so how can they take action! They can’t even speak proper English. And they are very good in scolding bright Chinese students for being clever and smart. Telling them to be grateful to the citizenship given to them. Utter nonsense.

  6. #6 by greenacre on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 4:02 pm

    While doing my masters at an Australian University, a fellow I knew did the cutting/copying and pasting from the internet. However shock awaited him as this university uses a sophisticated software to detect such a scam. In this way they not only detect the fraud but also the place and page from where such copying was done.

    Nothing gives more pleasure than getting your own work graded. It is yours and yours only for eternity. Are the local universities scared to use such a software? Many will go home with their tails between their legs perhaps.

  7. #7 by twistedmind on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 4:05 pm

    In school, CERTAIN students are given the exam questions before the exam. They get good results and head for MATRICULATION, then straight to Public Universities. Here, they pay others to do their papers and THESIS leading to degree/masters/doctorate – then sit at high positions claiming to know a lot, in some cases, head of departments in leading universities.

    It is all part of the SYSTEM.

    Then we all sit and wonder, why our graduates can’t get jobs! A 2 minute conversation with them, will tell you what they are made off.

  8. #8 by chiakchua on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 4:23 pm

    This is the result of the UMNOputra Malay agenda. You won’t be surprised this is not the only thing ‘fake’! More will be revealed. These fake things are so rampant because they need them to get the position and higher pay; get rich quick! The authority just ‘close one eye’ because helping them to get higher pay is perfectly in line with NEP! That’s why you see a sudden increase of Malays having big-bgi degree in the eighties!

    OTK was fantastic when he was the MCA youth leader. However, he is now like HPS (though still better than other MCA ministers) after appointed as d. minister. UMNOputra succeeded to keep his mouth shut with the position.

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 4:56 pm

    Why say only about fake PhDs and intellectual dishonesty? What’s new? The entire fabric of Malaysian public and private life is replete with an inexhaustible examples of fakes and dishonesty: misuse of public office for private gain under the pretense of public benefit figures as one prominent one; honorific titles were bestowed on less than honorable characters, some already convicted of crimes; facts eg marginalisation of minority races and actual % of bumi corporate ownership and ‘fraudulent meritocracy’ are denied; corruption is ubiquitous both in public and private and corporate sectors and so on and so on.

    The ones who are honest and competent, who don’t like to spin and lie, bodek and oppress others for self gain generally don’t want anything to do with politics or the higher echelons of even corporate/business life as they are practiced today on grounds that they are playground of the greedy and unprincipled. The latter have a field day and crowd to where the action is!

    To combat with the challenges of the Malaysian environment, thrive and prosper, old fashioned virtues like honesty, competence, achievement and fairness that our parents taught us have been relegated to backseat and in the front seat, emphasis is now on verve and dexterity in establishing conections and net work and building coalitions with power and influence and tapping opportunities for unfair gain that comes from such conections. Big cars, big names, big titles (including fake PhDs) dropping of big names are all part of this personae and mystique to play the game in this milieu. Defying the Powers-That-be and incurring its wrath is definitely no no.

    The privileged would think their privileges an entitlement and vested interest to defend; the other side unable to change the situtation will exert effort to break through and join the rank of the privileged (sometimes by conversions) and even though the country has comparatively developed and prospered in the last 50 years, it is however doubtful that all round the standards of public as well as, to an extent, private life have arisen in tandem, in fact they may well have been eroded.

    I am of course talking in terms of general terms in broad sweeps of this trend based on anecdotal observations. I make no claim that there are no plenty of exceptions or that what I said has any statistical justification or has undergone rigorous scientific analysis.

  10. #10 by kwkean on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 5:05 pm

    Malaysia BOLEH!

  11. #11 by oknyua on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 5:51 pm

    YB Lim, remember Bakri Musa’s article that certain people like to receive praises and adulations?

    Is this happening in the local Uni? Isn’t that the answer for the sorry state of our local grads? (Me included lah).

    On the other hand, can I offer my service?

  12. #12 by k1980 on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 5:56 pm

    Leakage of public exam questions such as in the UPSR, PMR and SPM are the norm rather than the exception nowadays. In the universities, “forecast” exam questions are provided by many of the lecturers. In time to come, malaysian universities would not be recognised even by failed states such as Somalia

  13. #13 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 6:10 pm

    Have you noticed that these days, many Master’s and Ph D holders dare not say where they got their degrees from? They just say M A, M Sc, Ph D but dare not or are shy to say which university awarded their degrees. Thats why I see them as frauds.

    Anyone who has earned a legitimate degree after putting in legitimate work and study should not be shy even if it was the University of Timbuktu that awarded it to them. After all, they registered their candidature with that University.

    But it is a sorry state of affairs when the Minister and his Deputies makes these kinds of complains and revelations. What did they expect the public to do as if the public is in a position to do anything? Shouldn’t they themselves take action?

    Not too long ago, many universities require students to present and defend their research thesis, through a viva, before a panel of examiners. Sadly many universities do not require this any more. This oral would help confirm the student’s work and research even though it would still be not foolproof but at least some standard would be set or confirmed.

    But sadly everyone can get a Ph D these days as there are many institutions out there of dubious backgrounds willing to give you one. Ever heard of Irish International University or Amsted University?

  14. #14 by cheng on soo on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 6:23 pm

    This is the “something that has no comparison anywhere else in the world?” In other countries, education, Uni. authorities etc will take action if such things happened in their public universities

  15. #15 by firstMalaysian on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 6:38 pm

    But we need more PhDs. How to produce more PhDs locally at a faster rate? These ‘thesis writers’ can help to churn more PhDs locally? Carry on Malaysian universities! Nobody will stop you and be proud that one day we have more than 100,000 PhDs walking on the streets.

    Our bright and talented Malaysians with PhDs from world top universities are not returning as they can compete on level playing field overseas and able to meet the challenges based on meritocracy in a foreign land?They are the real Malaysian with the Boleh Spirit.

  16. #16 by digard on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 6:49 pm

    Jeffrey, thanks for some balances. We have much more relevant items to be tackled these days, compared to the known-by-all-academicians fraudulent titles. As Bakri Musa pointed out so profoundly, this society is based on praises and (self-)adulations; so how could one hope to do away in the academic field?
    With whomever I had the honour to talk to in academia, some schizophrenia prevails. Everyone is adamant on professorships being handed out on research and publication records. And exactly the same chaps tell you ‘my time has come’ to be promoted; despite of no record in research and publications. And these chaps have been promoted by now. It seems, there is another, hidden, quality that qualifies for promotion.

    And, from a different angle, the MoHE is partially culpable for the mess: They have decided to ‘qualify’ Malaysia as educational hub by having a higher percentage of PhD-holders in the universities than Harvard. And now everyone without, has to bear the consequences; while those with a fake ‘Dr.’ don’t.
    Could we surmise that the MoHE knows all too well what is going on, and closes one or another eye? Could it be that the whole matter is nothing but intentional window-dressing, and MoHE doesn’t care about the quality really, actually?

  17. #17 by dragon88 on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 6:59 pm

    Those Masters and Phds must be of very low standard. How can someone else write for you unless he is an expert on the research you are doing. Malaysia looks like worse than India, Indonesia and Philippines. Corruption in Malaysia is from PM downwards to every facets of lives….So what is new ? Thank goodness, my children are not brought up there.

    Malaysian in Brisbane

  18. #18 by raven77 on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 7:24 pm

    Sounds like a lucrative buisness.

  19. #19 by 1eyecls on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 7:39 pm

    if you dun buy the thesis ,your head is going to damage permanently,might b ended-up in TJ.Rambutan,so,better ask smart guys to write for them!

    TDM had sent thousands of Malays(99%) to Japan colleges and universities for look-east-policy,understandable those thesis must not been written by them,but funny thing is we hardly see anyone (shall i say,none!) ,strikingones appear in Parliament as MP(we only see monkeys) or Chief Executive Officer in the Corporate world,couldnt b all of them alredy have ‘Phd’ and deployed at Tj.Rambutan,very2 strange huh???

  20. #20 by frymysquid on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 9:08 pm


    I’ve been following Jeff, Tony, Raja Petra and your website for quite awhile now and am sincerely glad that all of you are highlighting to Joe Public the areas in which greatly desires improvement.

    However, highlighting alone will not suffice. IMHO, you should also include the solution in which the ‘future administration’ (I’ve always disliked the term Oppose!) would implement if the ‘current administration’ no longer enjoys majority vote. Aren’t we all fully aware how well the ‘current administration’ excels in execution? (sniggers) In short, address not only the What, but the Whys and Whos and Whens etc… Else, all of you could be viewed as ‘bitches only’…

    I also like the idea of unifying all ‘future administration’ parties into a single party… Walk the Talk lar! And stop copying BN dammit! Why fight BN on equal grounds? ‘Future administration’ requires a differentiator (blue ocean) and THIS IS IT!… Imagine how the kris wavers and mat rempits would react to a proposal to unify MCA, MIC and UMNO into a single party! ROTFL!

    Whilst the ‘future administration’ definitely has my vote in the next election, its primarily due to lack of alternative options. If the above is conducted, it would be due to party of choice.

  21. #21 by budak on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 9:36 pm

    greenacre Says:
    “While doing my masters at an Australian University, a fellow I knew did the cutting/copying and pasting from the internet.”

    I currently doing my Master (Australian Uni), they not only scan for Internet/Intranet or community sites. It does scan and comparing your work against others or prior student papers.

    I personally do not have confident on local Uni… no standard, no credibility, no market value… :-)

  22. #22 by U32 on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 10:15 pm

    First and foremost, we Malaysians must always thank our government for giving us the opportunity of being involved in the information technology world. Because of this, the government empowers us with the means to express our thoughts in blogs like this. Also, the government has no other way of interacting with the common everyday Malaysian. With the 50 odd education institutions in Malaysia being awarded a university status, anything can happen. The government does not have the resources to monitor each and every individual student. Any assignment which is called by any name; whether thesis or dissertations or projects, by default should be done by the student ownself. As long as the work is done by somebody else; whether copy and paste, whether it is the girlfriend doing it for him, whether it is paid to be done, whether it is the subordinate doing for the boss, it is all lumped under one big name. Plagarism. Plagarism simply put is cheating. As long as the final piece of work is done and all the money paid up, the qualifying document is yours forever. Who will know ? But we all know. Like a typical Malaysian, we all know except we do not make a big hoo ha out of it. Selfishly we do our part and let life punishes the one who cheats. And that goes on for another couple of years. Malaysia for peace. Somebody can make a business out of writing a thesis and this somebody is not a fool. Universities teach ethics and morals, and Islam. So where do Malaysians stand ? They do not stand. They just sit on a fence watching the world passes by. So do those university graduates deserved to be called university graduate ? Do they deserve it ? They make themselves out to be laughing stocks if they proudly go round telling people how great they are when they are not. Not just laughing stocks but also the big talk of the town. Eyes can see. Minds can think. However regretfully, money works.

  23. #23 by Cinapek on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 10:23 pm

    Ong said ” his ministry was unable to take action as neither the students, the professional thesis writers nor the institutions of higher learning had come forward with complaints or information.”

    And the police also cannot take action too because the rapists, robbers, murderers and snatch theieves also did not come forward with complaints or information.

    Sheesh!! What a crummy excuse. And this is the type of standard cop out replies the Govt always gives when for example no actions are taken in corruption cases or problems they should have resolved but are chickening out from doing so.

    If the MOHE wants to exercise the authority to “rule” the universities, then they should also exercise their authority to correct such ills and take responsibility for the mess. Otherwise, they should get out and let the right people run those universities and cure those sicknesses.

  24. #24 by cheng on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 11:11 pm

    This thing is not new. Why bring this issue up now?
    Why thesis can be written by third party so easily?
    Why these theses were accepted by our lecturers and professors so easily?
    As the product of “controlled” meritocracy, our lecturers and professors are repeating “solved problems”. I believe, they still think that a master degree is no different from Year 6 UPSR.
    By giving “solved problems” to students as the research topic, nobody is actually “learning” anything. Assignments contents can be copied verbatim from the internet. Marks are given based on how well the cover design is, the relationship with the lecturer, and of course, kulitfication.
    After all these years, you and I can see the quality of local graduates. But wait a minute, where these parents who resorted to buying “soalan ramalan” came from? They must be the product of a generation before them… post May 1969, I think.

  25. #25 by negarawan on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 11:59 pm

    Nothing surprising here. When you have a highly corrupted and incompetent government, there will be a spillover effect to all sectors of civil service and the country in general.

  26. #26 by chuchueey on Saturday, 22 December 2007 - 11:59 pm

    On the same note, another shameful practice is the rampant awarding of professorships. Such awards are given to people of academic excellence; but this is not so in bolehland. In many universities all one needs to do is get appointed to a deanship or assistant VC post and after some years of pen pushing and paper shuffling, and presto! the honorary chain of titles become longer, like Prof Datuk Dr so-and-so. The award is based on administrative ability, not academic research and publications.

  27. #27 by Colonel on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 12:53 am

    Jeffrey who says,

    “The ones who are honest and competent, who don’t like to spin and lie, bodek and oppress others for self gain generally don’t want anything to do with politics…”

    In other words, those who are dishonest and incompetent and who like to “spin and lie etc” are those who see everything as being political and politics as the only solution to all our problems?

    Aren’t we not talking about limkamput??

  28. #28 by smeagroo on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 2:08 am

    but can any of these fellas cast the first stones?

    HOw many of our ministers have fake Phds? How many of them with fanciful titles werent bought with money?

  29. #29 by Traveller on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 2:26 am

    The govt has been pushing for more publications from the IPTAs and I heard that they are even giving out cash bonus for each published paper in international journals.
    The solution to this pressure from the top is obvious to some. They would fake the data for publication, just so long as not to make outrageous claims and nobody would care to check.
    The scientific literature is already full of rubbish and fraudulent papers. So, if you add a few more from Malaysia, it wouldn’t make much difference anyway.
    Just don’t make the mistake as that S Korean scientist who claimed to make some new stem cell lines from cloned human embryo, that turned out to be a fraud. Or the Chinese engineer who used a Motorola chip to claim that it was made in China with Chinese-developed expertise. (China has been paying mllions in license fees to US and other Western countries to use their patents in making microelectronic chips, etc. A purely Chinese home-made chip without infringing other patents would be a quantum leap for them, saving them tons of money in license fees and developing their own electronics industry.). In both cases, the S Korean and Chinese govt lost millions of dollars before realizing the claims were fraudulent.
    I am quite sure these fraudulent Malaysian Master and PhD theses are just cut and paste jobs from the Internet. It is impossible to write them in such short time as claimed.
    If they have no compunction to do that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some making fraudulent papers for publication as well. The incentive is there, especially now that there is cash bonus for every paper.

  30. #30 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 2:29 am

    The politicians and rich men/women can buy a datuk or tan sri or tun, and why not us? we buy only a small phd

  31. #31 by limkamput on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 2:57 am

    COLONEL SAYS: “In other words, those who are dishonest and incompetent and who like to “spin and lie etc” are those who see everything as being political and politics as the only solution to all our problems?
    Aren’t we not talking about limkamput??”

    THEN why are you here, talking cock and bull is it? You should ask Jeffrey to go no further. There are enough dishonest and intellectually corrupted people here like Yourself, Darkhorse, Diaperhead, and Undergrad2. Of course, Undergrad2 is the father and mother of all of you.

  32. #32 by DarkHorse on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 3:45 am

    If you want to talk cock, Sir you could go here http://www.talkingcock.com

  33. #33 by DarkHorse on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 3:48 am

    Sir, I don’t know undergrad. I have already got my Masters a long time ago, sir. You may want to check if your degree is fake.

  34. #34 by sj on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 5:30 am

    Oh wow, I am surprised only now this can of worm came into light. It has been widely practised in Malaysia for donkey amount of years. That is why, Malaysia is lacking of INTEGRITY. Semua mahu short cut, semua mahu easy way out. Hope they get burned for it.

  35. #35 by sj on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 5:37 am

    Oh by the way, this is only at education level, wait till you see the level of dishonesty in the higher level, namely our CABINET.

  36. #36 by sj on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 5:45 am

    Aren’t we not talking about limkamput?? by Colonel

    There is no need to provoke a fight, why are you people emulating the behavior of the UMNO monkeys? We got a serious problem in the country and we need serious people and competent people to solve it. Provoking a fight in a blog not only show shallowness but it reflects on a level of maturity you have as well. So keep it cool. Paham ?

  37. #37 by Godamn Singh on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 6:02 am

    Hello sj!

    The thread is on fake degrees. Limkamput may have faked his school certificate, but what is important is who among our Cabinet Ministers may have faked their academic credentials.

    You’d do us a service if you could list here their credentials for us.

  38. #38 by Colonel on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 6:12 am

    That was a legitimate comment based on Jeffery’s observation on what politics is all about and what politicians are like.

    Kit is not one of those.

  39. #39 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 7:30 am

    Digard says:
    “As Bakri Musa pointed out so profoundly, this society is based on praises and (self-)adulations; so how could one hope to do away in the academic field?”

    Didn’t this begin with Tun M? He surrounded himself with fawning flatterers who heaped praise and adulation on him, circled his feet, kissed his hands and got rewarded handsomely. Most of them fled when Tun M retired.

    The same vultures then surround Pak LAh – same, same fawning and flattery; same, same kissing hands and circling around his feet; same, same, they get rewarded handsomely.

    Then in those Bolehland universities, same, same hand-kissing and feet-circling to get perks, promotions and professorships. Getting Masters and Ph. Ds, aiya! just apply the same time-tested ‘technology’ – hand-kissing and feet-circling! SUch leading-edge ‘technology’ has never been known to fail in Bolehland!

  40. #40 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 7:41 am

    “The same vultures then surround Pak LAh – same, same fawning and flattery; same, same kissing hands and circling around his feet; same, same…” HORNBILL

    Some may even be kissing his feet if not other parts of the human anatomy.

  41. #41 by justice_fighter on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 9:10 am

    Perhaps Mustafa’s thesis was also written by someone….perhaps…

  42. #42 by sj on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 9:31 am

    Well I believe you people remember the lowering of SPM standard by making people pass. I believe it is done during Mahathir’s time. Where the bright idea was to have more Malay to enter the heavy industry. So instead of producing real caliber people, UMNO came up with a bright idea to mass produce Malay Grads so that they are given posts in this sector. So they conveniently pass people who does not deserve to pass, they conveniently put a lot of bad students into the universities, and worse, they conveniently let people like Hashim Yaakob to be the VC of universities.

    Those were the time when the economy was booming. The more it booms, the more infested our system is with corruption because people were having a good time to care. That is why things were overlooked and Malaysians are still too timid, and too forgiving, to even confront Mahathir for this problem.

    Now that we have, Hishamuddin, another useless racist clown, he is not going to fix the problem. He is not interested in the problem. All he is interested in, is the get more influence and power in UMNO itself.

    So we must ask ourselves, why do we constantly let the wrong people to do the wrong work? When a person is not interested in solving the problem and to protect the interests of fellow Malaysians, why is he still allowed to sit on the seat as a minister?

    The answer is probably is, because he was voted in by UMNO members. So, why is a person voted in by UMNO deserves to run the country? They are not voted in by the people to begin with. Now do you see how much false democracy has been going on in our Malaysian system?

  43. #43 by takkan_hilang_india_didunia on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 9:36 am

    Dear Bloggers,
    It’s a dark day for the value of education. Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Kiat statement that ” his ministry was unable to take action as neither the students, the professional thesis writers nor the institutions of higher learning had come forward with complaints or information” is such a silly excuse and cannot be tolerated. Who in the right frame of mind would think that either the professional thesis writers , the students or the institutions of higher learning will come forward, since all three parties are equally involved. Ong, go and investigate! and stop being like an idiot and stop playing naive.
    Let’s call these parties the following:
    Professional Thesis Writers — The Pariah Among Writers
    Students Requesting the Service — The Plagiarizers
    The lecturer Passing these Students — Spineless Educators
    The Higher Learning Institutions allowing this to happen — The Higher Plagiarism Institutions.

    Let’s guess. Since the standard of matriculation cannot match STPM, the students entering the universities via matriculasi are being admitted not based on merit. Even STPM students who have not performed well enter Universities not based on merit system. Now, imagine these students who did not work hard before entering the university, do you think they will work hard while they are studying in the University? Since they are incompetent ( either because they refuse to work hard or are naturally incompetent), do you think they have the capability to write a Masters or Phd thesis?
    While lecturing for a BA program for adult students (private) in Malaysia ( Distance Learning Program), a student submitted his friends thesis/report and claiming it was his work. I saw that the standard of English in the paper submitted was different from his standard. As I probed further on the references used, he admitted that it was not written by him. I suggessted an alternate topic and asked the student to re-do the paper by doing his own research. I reported the incident to the principal of the college and told him that I refused to give a grade for the student until he attempts the paper once more time. The principal never got back to me and I realized later that the particular student passed the paper and the program.
    This plagiarizing disease is a dangerous virus that will cripple the quality of students produced. When I went through what’s called the “Oral examination” to defend my thesis/research while doing my Masters of Science degree( overseas), the professors who attended the session gave me a hard time questioning me on the 10 subjects taken and from the thesis written. Even my own thesis supervisor asked me questions that I could not answer ( but managed to answer with some help). When the ‘verdict’ was read, the Chairman of the Department declared that I fulfilled all the requirements and passed my paper. He mentioned that students may feel that they are given a hard time during the oral examination process, but he stressed that they do so to let the student know that they have earned their degree with their hard work. I realized then that these educators upheld the highest standards in education. I thank them for that.

    I’m hoping that the Education Ministry will take a proactive role in curbing this dangerous virus in education. They will not take any action if they themselves have plagiarized during their studies.

    God bless Malaysian Etion System.

  44. #44 by DarkHorse on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 9:43 am

    I’m glad you see the light, my friend! What took you so long?

  45. #45 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 10:01 am

    For a country that have “pontianaks”, “phantom voters”, bigfoot with big ears etc, can “phantom ghost thesis writers” not exist?

    I know chap with two PhDs. He’s got plenty of time ‘cos he’s a retiree and needs an income to get by. He can do a good job and his rates are more competitive. Try him. Call 019-2165555 and give the password “thesis”. Guaranteed satisfaction.

    Aaaaah. What an easy life.

  46. #46 by madmix on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 11:03 am

    NO SUCH THING: look at today’s newspaper reports: VCs deny, deny, deny. no such thing in their universities. Which university VC would want to admit such things and lower their prestige and standing?

  47. #47 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 11:45 am

    VCs versus Deputy Minister? Somebody must be wrong. Come out with supporting evidence.

  48. #48 by limkamput on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 1:09 pm

    You may want to check if your degree is fake. – darkhorse

    Hello, you are a fake, not just the degree.

  49. #49 by limkamput on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 1:12 pm

    That was a legitimate comment based on Jeffery’s observation on what politics is all about and what politicians are like. – colonel

    how can illegitimate person make legitimate comment. oxymoron again!

  50. #50 by limkamput on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 1:13 pm

    Some may even be kissing his feet if not other parts of the human anatomy. undergrad2

    yes, you are the first in line for that other part of the anatomy. i have no doubt at all.

  51. #51 by limkamput on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 1:17 pm

    You’d do us a service if you could list here their credentials for us. – condemn singh

    Look, despite whatever shortcomings, all cabinet ministers are more educated and smarter than you and also morally more upright than you. what have you got, spm grade2, stpm part cert, a lousy degre from one money making uni somewhere in europe or usa? phua tam sai people.

  52. #52 by limkamput on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 1:56 pm

    DarkHorse Says: I’m glad you see the light, my friend! What took you so long?

    how can a blind man see light. it is puzzling!

  53. #53 by shaolin on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 3:22 pm

    Retired lecturers writing Ph D and M Sc./ M.A. thesis..
    with the following price tags;

    Ph D. – RM15,300.00
    M. Sc – RM13,000.00
    M. A. – RM12,000.00

    Lucrative businesses for retired lecturers, isn’t it??
    Our supposedly respected Scholars from Universiti XXX
    turned ‘thesis writers’ as part time ‘petition writers’ too!!

    Senior lecturers must have some ‘code ethic’ and conduct
    ethic…to their professions??!! This only can happen in
    Malaysia…!! Malaysia Semua Boleh…!!! Part time thesis
    writers also can ma….?!

  54. #54 by smartee on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 4:22 pm

    Yes, things in Malaysia sure looks gloomy. The way I see it, “All Malaysians are treated equal… but some are more equal than others…” Be ready to show your displeasure in the “kambing” Election?

  55. #55 by chgchksg128 on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 5:21 pm

    Before the STPM and SPM result come out next year, I am planning to write an article of “Don’t celebrate ven you get straight As”.
    Straights As from chn and ind gurantee u nothing…the sad story will continue…and I suppose that article can be use for another 50 years.
    But the link above is article of the poor local uni ranking

  56. #56 by Woger Rilco on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 10:48 pm

    Who was the wise-crack that brought up plagarism as the “biggest issue” to plague our education system? Had they not done their homework?

    The core of our problem is the Malaysian so-called-universities and colleges alike – greedy, money-making, exploitationist, KLSE-listed, ignorant machinations that could care less about the academic (and overall) well being of their staff and students. Even if it means cutting down on the essence of what they exist for.

    With less lecturers and teaching staff, most are overworked and forced to teach subject matter completely irrelevant to their qualifications leading to utter degradation of teaching quality, passed on to the poor students who would understand little of what that is taught, as would the teacher, having no basics nor background in it – provided the teachers even have the time to review the material, having to squeeze it between the long and heavy hours at work, piles of assignments to check, and what little time they can hope to scavange for their personal life. Ultimately, students would then go on to write their thesis papers with insufficient grounding, guidance and know-how.

    There’s my opinion. So what do you think the problem is?

  57. #57 by digard on Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 11:33 pm

    chuchueey: “In many universities all one needs to do is get appointed to a deanship or assistant VC post and after some years of pen pushing and paper shuffling, and presto! the honorary chain of titles become longer, like Prof Datuk Dr so-and-so. The award is based on administrative ability, not academic research and publications.”

    Spot on!
    He, chuchueey, do I happen to know you? Do we happen to have contacts in the same universities? Or is this simply rampant all over the place?

  58. #58 by limkamput on Monday, 24 December 2007 - 12:09 am

    DarkHorse Says:
    Sir, I don’t know undergrad. I have already got my Masters a long time ago, sir. You may want to check if your degree is fake.

    owah, so clever ar, masters in what? Admission creteria, spm three credits with 5 years low paying working experience is it? Which uni? “Iwantogo University”?

  59. #59 by limkamput on Monday, 24 December 2007 - 12:11 am

    sorry, forget to add, i am sure no need GMAT/GRE right? May be you never heard of this before, but then….

  60. #60 by takkan_hilang_india_didunia on Monday, 24 December 2007 - 7:53 am

    Dear Woger Rilco,
    Hi there. First of all, when you refer to another note from the blog, please mention where are you refering from. You mentioned that ” Who was the wise-crack that brought up plagarism as the “biggest issue” to plague our education system? Had they not done their homework?”. I tried checking by word/phrase search on who said that plagiarism was the ‘biggest issue’, but I couldn’t find. Please try to be specific on where you are quoting from.
    From my experience, I had first hand experience as a student who conducted an independent research thats publishable and also had an experience as a lecturer/instructor witnessing a student who was trying to plagiarize.
    Please share your personal experiences with plagiarism ( if any ).
    Perhaps then, we would be in the same plane to discuss without any of us to do our ‘homework’.
    I’m writing this to promote good debate to nail doen an issue with facts, figures and personal experiences.

  61. #61 by Jimm on Monday, 24 December 2007 - 10:09 am

    Education is the next biggest commercial to Malaysian.
    We just keep paying to get result where it matters most.
    At the end of everything, our children just spend their time on drugs to get over their life meaning as they are only living in their parents’ world.

  62. #62 by ahoo on Monday, 24 December 2007 - 3:37 pm

    What can we expect our Universities to produce when the education systems was turn upside down in the 70s’ ? Those who were around that period can fully understand and appreciate the good old days of GCE !

    With the change in policy and the fervent pursuit of NEP agenda, we have what we witness today. What you sow, you shall reap !

    We must only vote in people with integrity and honesty. Who are willing to serve the people and at the same time have fear of God in their hearts – no matter what religion they profess, then only will there be a solution for Malaysia. Am I dreaming or thinking of heaven on earth ?

    The problems are not limited to the govt. Universities but I think there are many fake PhDs lecturing in local private colleges as well as with the title the pay is obviously going to be higher. Maybe someone can start to gather facts and figures on ” bogus degrees ” from diploma mills out there and post it to shame them for short-cutting the honorable educational system.

    The day when our bn ministers can proudly enrol their sons and daughters in the local schools will be the day we know that the rots have been taken care off !

    Good day to all and may the coming election be a day where we can be proud to call ourselves Malaysian again to have played our rightful role as a voter. Vote wisely and No to excesses.

  63. #63 by helpless on Monday, 24 December 2007 - 5:35 pm

    The reply is very simple.

    Question : Why you hesitate to take action?
    Mustafa : This is my direct selling product. I sell PhD too…….?

  64. #64 by ktteokt on Tuesday, 25 December 2007 - 11:34 am

    Just another case of “MALAYSIA BOLEH!”

  65. #65 by Jonny on Tuesday, 25 December 2007 - 1:50 pm

    Everything can be bought here in Malaysia. Even the life of a Mongolian.

  66. #66 by ktteokt on Thursday, 27 December 2007 - 10:12 am

    If Chua Soi Lek can represent someone in offering an apology, I don’t see why one graduate cannot represent another in writing theses! Just another instance of MALAYSIA BOLEH!

  67. #67 by mayfoo02 on Saturday, 5 January 2008 - 1:49 pm

    Plagiarism, academic fraud and malpractices have been prevalent in our local universities for a long time. It is just that they have never been reported because they are considered as non-issues. If there is anyone who knows of such incidences and feel uncomfortable about it, there would be grumbles but would be very quickly forgotten. Very few people in education at all levels ( not only in universities ) actually talk about plagiarism seriously, much less look at it as an ethical issue.However, taking the Minister of Higher Education and his Deputy to task for this malady in our local universities would not address the root of the problem though one can argue that at least someone needs to do something and that someone should be the Minister himself. Instead, it would be wise for us to look at the wider implications of this problem. Doesn’t this imply one very important and glaring flaw in our university students, i.e they lack the linguistic, study and research skills that are so necessary in preparing and writing their theses? Hence, the scurry for help at whatever cost. If this is the case, then should the universities be held solely responsible for the paucity of these students? Yes, definitely, at least to the extent where they have failed to impress upon the students that plagiarism, academic fraud and malpractices are issues that they take seriously and anyone who is caught committing any one of these offences does not deserve a place there.But, what about the early education providers, i.e the primary and secondary schools? Shouldn’t they be held accountable for what is happening as well? All too often, when a problem occurs in institutions of tertiary education all fingers would point to them as the culprit. Very few people actually realise that the root of the problem starts in the schools where these students had their primary and secondary education. These schools are entrusted with a very heavy responsibility of providing a positive learning environment for children to develop their potential thus also preparing them for tertiary education if and when the opportunity arises. However, the question is, are our schools actually doing this or are they caught in the delusion that they are but they are really not. Let’s look at some examples of the current practices in our schools.
    1) Most teachers in primary schools especially those in the urban areas adopt a “copy the answers into your exercise books” approach, either from their boards or their textbooks. Ask any Year 6 child especially those from the Chinese primary schools how many “karangans” and essays they have to copy into their exercise books in a year and you’ll be shocked. Of course all this is done with the misguided belief that practice makes perfect. True it does, but not this kind of mindless practice! And wouldn’t encouraging this amount to inculcating the belief that copying aka plagiarism as acceptable culture?
    2) Another rampant practice in secondary schools is to provide samples of coursework done by students from previous years to their current batch of students all in the name of helping them. However, most teachers ( though not all ) allow their students to borrow from the archives of students’ work which they keep, thus allowing them to copy with very minimal changes. Again many teachers, rightly or wrongly, just browse through the work handed in and give a mark ( usually a high one unless it’s an extreme case) without checking to see if the work is copied. All these with the self justified reason of “why make it so difficult for them when other schools are also helping their students out with the marks?” After all, it doesn’t matter whether they have breached an ethical principle as long as they have helped their students get an “A” and their schools chalk up a high percentage of passes and distinctions. It’s the reputation that’s more important than understanding the ethics underlying the action. Again, wouldn’t this be setting the precedence for a society to view such practices as acceptable culture? There are are many more malpractices that pervade in our schools that could fill a whole book. Suffice to say that the rot in our education system is not confined to our institutions of tertiary education. It started in the schools, is allowed to proliferate and now it is manifested in the form of our skill-impoverished local
    undergraduates. So, Mr. Lim Sir, besides the alternative budget Tony Pua presented on behalf of your party, why not think about an alternative education blueprint drawn up from the input of sincere,capable apolitical educators? That might help in the long run towards the development of human capital in our country.Cheers

  68. #68 by buntal on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 - 3:30 pm

    I graduated from an Australian university but did my diploma in one of the oldest tertiary institutions in Malaysia. I can see the difference of how these 2 treat plagiarism. The former one, when a student does not do proper referencing using either Harvard or Oxford Referencing System, he or she would not get any mark for any single word written. On top of that, he or she will be considered plagiarising and this student may be dismissed from his or her course.

    On the other hand, this local tertiary of education of that we have here would not even mind where a source is obtained from. Who cares if an individual jotted down the whole content from any book and make it as his or her ideas? He or she will still get high mark for that assignment or thesis as long as it is submitted and something is written inside. No in-text references and no bibliography. Is that what we call quality??? It’s a shame to call oneself a Masters or PhD holder if this really happens. They can lie to people but not to themselves and God.

  69. #69 by buntal on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 - 3:44 pm

    A scenario that happens to those who get PhD locally once upon a time……I, from University X check your thesis from University Y. Long time ago, they wrote their thesis in BM and it’s definitely impossible for international scholars to comprehend. Therefore, it is up to this guy from University Y to comment on what that guy from University X did. If he’s his friend, surely the PhD title is confirmed his.

    Another funny but embarassing scenario is that a PhD with his or her thesis written in BM, had a difficulty to translate it in English when required by a layman. Couldn’t even present his or her idea to ordinary people. The quality is very questionable. I know those out there trapped in these 2 situations will not admit. ;P

You must be logged in to post a comment.