A month after his unofficial visit to Malaysian vessel Pedoman that was said to be parked on Singapore waters, Johor Chief Minister Osman Sapian is faced with another allegation: his fake degree from a local university.
When reporters approached the Johor Pakatan Harapan chairman during a Chinese New Year event in Kulai on February 9 (Saturday) asking him about the accusations that are circulating on social media regarding his academic background, he merely smiled and refused to answer. He also immediately left the open house and charity donation ceremony which was held at the Taman Putri multipurpose hall.
The Chief Minister has been accused of faking his accounting degree from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) which in fact does not exist, according to a member of the public who investigated and did online checks with UPM.
It was only last week when Malaysia’s Deputy Minister Marzuki Yahya revealed that he had gotten his business administration degree from a degree mill posing to be the University of Cambridge. He was adamant at first about proving that it was legitimate but when more proof came to light, he filed it under “political game” and a misunderstanding. Read more on that below:
During the same event, Johor’s People’s Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat, PKR) chairman Hassan Karim said that the coalition’s reputation has been stained due to the recent controversies involving its leaders’ academic degrees. It is the goal of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition to uphold integrity in the country and create a new society while shedding some light on the mishaps of the previous government. “Therefore, we must be a good example. If not, then we would have failed,” he said.
While it would be more fair and legal for the accusers to prove their claims, chairman Hassan also said that “it is better for the accused to come forward and make an explanation. As public figures, there is nothing private for them anymore and the public has the right to scrutinise them.”
To date, the Johor Umno Youth urges the Johor Chief Minister to show proof of his degree in order to clear the accusations once and for all. Its information chief Johan Azam Mohd Yasin said that “If he fails to do so, we want him to admit that he had betrayed and lied to the people of Johor and resign as the menteri besar or chief minister.” He added that only those who have no integrity falsify records but it is not acceptable for someone who is an elected representative of the country. It will only make the people question his credibility and transparency in office.
Meanwhile, Tariq Ismail, a member of the PPBM party’s supreme council had a different view on the matter and said that in relation to the stigma of having a dubious degree or not having graduated, “as long as people don’t rape or steal, it is fine.”
Read about Johor Chief Minister Osman Sapian’s unofficial visit to Malaysian vessel below: