PETALING JAYA: While Umno leaders are calling Datuk Marzuki Yahya to resign, his colleagues at Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia have come to his defence.
Bersatu supreme council member Tariq Ismail said the Deputy Foreign Minister should not be judged solely on his allegedly fake degree, and while this was a stigma, at least he did not rape or steal.
“From his humility and hard work, I’d hire the one from fake Cambridge. The real Cambridge, I'd throw them in the river because they think they own the world and the world has to continuously chase them.
“People should look for dedication and teamwork.
“He’s not going to be CEO of Goldman Sachs, BP or Felda, or resuscitate Enron. All those people who headed those companies had degrees but were crooks who stole.
“A degree is just a piece of paper that gets you into the workplace. The rest is up to you.
“Having a dubious degree or not having graduated can be a stigma, but as long as people don’t rape or steal, it is fine,” said Tariq.
He added that he had to opt out of his degree course in London South Bank University due to the Asian financial crisis in the 1990s.
“So, I know the stigma,” said Tariq.
Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said Marzuki was not chosen as the Deputy Foreign Minister because of the degree.
“As far as I know, he never declared that he was supposedly a Cambridge University graduate. That only came out in Wikipedia.
“For his own knowledge, he attended a course by an American online institution which unfortunately had a similar name.
“I’m sure he was not picked to be a deputy minister on the supposed merit of his brandishing a Cambridge University degree,” Mukhriz told The Star.
Both were commenting on reports that Marzuki had obtained his degree in business administration from an alleged degree mill.
Marzuki, who previously said he had a degree from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom via a distance learning programme, admitted on Wednesday (Feb 6) that his degree was actually from Cambridge International University in the United States.
Since that admission, the institution has come under intense scrutiny and increasing suspicion that it is a “diploma mill” that awards degrees with little or no study.
Cambridge International University admits on its website that it is not accredited.
It says it offers 150 programmes offered, but lists only 12 faculty members and 13 adjunct faculty members.
A check by The Star found that pictures of its supposed faculty members include one with the watermark of an online dating site, while others seem to be of fashion models.
Attempts by The Star to email multiple faculty and adjunct faculty members for clarification failed when the mail delivery subsystem noted that these email addresses could not be found or the server was unable to receive mail.
The responses from the remote server read: “550 No Such User Here”.