Rabu, 2 Oktober 2013

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‘Fake degrees akin to fake Louis Vuitton’

Posted: 01 Oct 2013 09:05 PM PDT


Shahidan said: "If someone has a degree from an unrecognised university, there is nothing we can do.

"Maybe the person just wants to keep it for their own personal use, to frame it in their homes.

Anisah Shukry, FMT 

PETALING JAYA: Fake degrees and degrees obtained from degree mills are like "fake Louis Vuitton" — no action can be taken if it is for personal use.

Minister in the Prime Minister Department Shahidan Kassim said this in the Dewan Rakyat today, in response to Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming's question on whether the government was aware that two Cabinet Ministers, Serian MP Richard Riot and Ranau MP Ewon Ebin, had dubious degrees.

Ong had also claimed Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, who is chairman of Lembaga Tabung Haji, and Mohammed Emir Mavani Abdullah, the chief executive officer of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd had questionable qualifications.

Side-stepping the question entirely, Shahidan said: "If someone has a degree from an unrecognised university, there is nothing we can do.

"Maybe the person just wants to keep it for their own personal use, to frame it in their homes.

"If we want to create a law that people can only own degrees from recognised universities, it would also have to cover fake branded products such as imitation Louis Vuitton handbags.  That is too much work for us."

Elaborating on his analogy further, he said: "If you walk around with a fake Louis Vuitton handbag, people will just jeer you for carrying one. It's the same with fake degrees."

But he asserted that such degrees could not be used to apply for jobs, and action would be taken if individuals were caught doing so.

He said those guilty of using fake degrees or degrees from unrecognized universities to gain employment or promotion may be sacked, pointing out that there were two such cases, in 2007 to 2012.

But he declined to comment on the specific cases Ong had mentioned.

'I worked hard for my degree'

However, during his turn to answer a question, Riot took the opportunity to defend, saying that there was a difference between fake degrees and degrees obtained from unrecognized universities

"I worked very hard for my degree because I believe in life-long learning," said Riot, who is Human Resource Minister

"As a former deputy foreign minister, I have represented Malaysia outside the country and given speeches in English not less than 50 times."

Ong had previously highlighted Riot's Masters in Business Administration from Prestong University – a well-known bogus university

Meanwhile, Ewon's alma maters, the Golden State University in Wyoming and the Commonwealth Open University in the British Virgin Islands, are listed as 'unauthorised schools and invalid degrees' by the Oregon and Maine state governments, according to Ong.


Learn from mistakes and stop the wastage

Posted: 01 Oct 2013 04:33 PM PDT

The Star

THE Auditor-General's Report 2012 tabled in Parliament yesterday has once again thrown up the usual slew of cases involving mismanagement of funds to downright corruption.

Some of the cases highlighted are bound to raise a chuckle or two, like how the Customs Department had to destroy RM602,089 worth of shoes bought for its staff because they did not meet specifications.

We are used to seeing Customs destroying goods confiscated in the line of duty but to destroy 7,659 pairs of new footwear bought for its own use is certainly not right.

This incident is no laughing matter. Neither is the loss of some RM1.3mil in assets, which include firearms, vehicles and handcuffs by police over the last three years.

This was among the wastage highlighted in the report which also found the police's management of missing assets unsatisfactory, especially at a time when we are so concerned about the spate of serious crime.

And the taxman, entrusted to making sure the government coffers are properly filled, also got ticked off for wasting up to RM9mil during the relocation of its processing centre from Pandan Indah to Bangi.

Or that the Education Ministry wasted RM2bil on unsatisfactory private security in schools.

The report cited the poor execution of security services with no monitoring at entry and exit points at school premises, insufficient guards, and guards who were either too old or failed to present adequate health and background security checks.

The problem with auditing, whether on government accounts or private companies, is that such incidents are revealed only after the fact.

And it does not help that errant officials are somewhat protected by anonymity and can be transferred to other departments after misdemeanours are discovered.

The primary purpose of auditing is to uncover impropriety, but it must also be the Auditor-General's hope that civil servants learn from such revelations.

The weaknesses highlighted by the A-G in his latest report seem to sound like an old record.

Among them are improper payments; work or supplies not meeting specifications, unreasonable delays, wastage and weakness in management of products and assets.

Once again, public officials have been implicated in issues of graft. The MACC has a lot on its plate and must act fast to restore confidence in the way we manage the public purse.

Let us be clear that all public officials must always be accountable to the public interest. They must know that every action is subject to scrutiny and must always be above reproach.

By the same token, let us also applaud those departments who have been given a clean bill of health by the AG, especially those who have learnt from the mistakes of others.

A huge government machinery like ours will definitely have its problems but we must be clear that even a little nut or bolt can bring the machinery to a halt.

We are only as good as our weakest link and we must send out a strong message that we do not tolerate any mismanagement of public funds.


The Auditor-General’s Report, a tale of greed from top to bottom

Posted: 01 Oct 2013 04:16 PM PDT


One really troubling fact about the Auditor-General's Report released yesterday is that the poison of corruption, wastage and negligence has seeped right down to the lowest levels of government.

Not only have Malaysians got to be worried about corrupt politicians but also civil servants from the top to the bottom. How else do you explain nearly RM200 million being spent on incinerators without the know-how to operate the technology or RM3,000 on wall clocks or custom-made shoes left to rot because they did not meet the specifications?

Money is being spent and wasted like water. And the disease has infected every ministry, government-linked company and institution across the nation. Perhaps it was inevitable given that civil servants have witnessed politicians milking the system for decades and getting away with it.

So why not also jump on the gravy train? After all it is public funds, and it belongs to them to waste it as they see fit. Even more troubling is that no heads have rolled over the years for such sheer wastage and corruption. When was the last time anyone took responsibility for purchasing expensive printers, inks, shoes, clocks and scanners?

Which minister or secretary-general or director-general or even chief clerk has admitted they slipped up and quit to take responsibility for such negligence. Is there any concern that policemen can lose guns or even police cars without anyone having their knuckles rapped for it? Or that money is still being paid out to dead people? One can suppose these dead people are still on the electoral roll.



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