PETALING JAYA: Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya, who previously said he had a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Cambridge pursued through a distance learning programme, is now saying his degree is from a US institution.
“I think they (my critics) misunderstood (my credentials). I (studied) at the Cambridge International University in the United States,” he was reported as saying by Malaysiakini.
“I was doing logistics (before joining politics). So I just took that certificate for my knowledge to expand my business. As CEO of the company, I want to expand my knowledge and my business,” he told the news portal.
Checks by The Star showed that there is a “Cambridge International University” listed in the United States that has no affiliation with the prestigious UK university.
It only offers “distance learning” programmes, with degree courses costing as low as US$5,000 (about RM20,000), with fees payable via PayPal.
The university’s motto is the grammatically questionable “Seek for Wisdom” and its logo is just as unimpressive (see pic).
Cambridge International University (CIU) seems to have been set up merely to conduct distance-learning programmes, and has no accreditation from any government.
“CIU-USA was established in 21st century – just about the time when the internet became widely available even in third world countries,” it says on its Facebook page.
“Accreditation is a voluntary process and does not guarantee a worthy education. Rather, it means an institution has submitted its courses, programmes, budget, and educational objectives for review.
“CIU’s Distance Learning Programs are unique, non-traditional and not accredited by the US Department of Education,” it adds.
The university even has an anthem; below is an excerpt as provided on its FB page:
For greater good of all Sparkles in brands
it is there that Cambridge International University stands
Where East and West unite their best, for greater good of all
with all our hearts and all our minds we God and man will serve
our glorious past our mission new will build a better world
From the depths of our earth
to planets and stars
we chart our ways
And we strive to make
the waves of science
soar high in a maze
Art and deftness we acquire
to chalk out our goal
the spirit of Humanism beckons
and CIU imbibes it in soul
The mighty Lit flows by us
its power will light up its banks
we shall zoom high to ideals
Technology will assure our ranks
Marzuki’s academic qualifications came under scrutiny after political activist Muhsin Abdul Latheef lodged a police report over a Facebook user’s claim that the University of Cambridge did not offer a distance-learning programme in business administration that Marzuki claims to have pursued.
Marzuki, who is also the Penang chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, brushed aside the claim but said he would leave it to the police to investigate, adding that he would produce proof he had pursued a course in the field at the university.
“I regard this as a political game. I don't feel like commenting much about this. Let's leave it to the police,” he was reported as saying to Bernama on Tuesday (Feb 5).
Earlier Wednesday, former political blogger “Aisehman” tweeted that Marzuki’s Wikipedia page had been edited.
“Someone's been busy editing Deputy Foreign Minister and (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) secretary-general Marzuki Yahya's Wikipedia page over the past 24 hours.
“Cambridge University was changed to Cambridge International University and now there's no mention of his education at all.
“What's going on?” tweeted Aisehman, who was an anonymous and prominent political blogger in the early 2000s.
A check by The Star found that Marzuki's Wikipedia page was edited at about 6am on Wednesday (Feb 6). The recent edit omitted his alma mater and details on his education.
A previous edit on the page, dated Jan 26, 2019, listed Marzuki's alma mater as “University of Cambridge”.
There was an entry on his education background, reading: “Marzuki completed his early education in Butterworth, Penang and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Cambridge.”