PETALING JAYA: The government must come clean over the controversy regarding Datuk Marzuki Yahya’s “Cambridge” degree. Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming said the issue of a Pakatan Harapan deputy minister whose academic qualification was from a degree mill was a serious matter.
“Under Malaysia Baru, such issues should not be swept under the carpet and ignored, as it was under the previous government.
“We have to hold ourselves up to higher standards of public accountability and transparency. If not, we would be seen as being no different as the previous Barisan Nasional administration,” he said.
Ong said whenever the issue of a politician with dubious academic credentials makes the news, the question one should ask was whether an academic qualification was even necessary for a person to be an effective politician.
“My answer is a definite no! Let me state clearly so that there is no ambiguity whatsoever – you don’t need an academic degree to be an effective politician,” said Ong, who is also Bangi MP and DAP assistant national director for political education.
Ong said if the deputy minister in question feels that he has done no wrong, he should ask for a proper investigation to be conducted by his party.
Selangor PKR chief and Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari said there was nothing shameful for politicians in not having high academic qualifications as honesty was more important.
“It is not a question of qualifications and from where it was obtained.
“The question is one of honesty and I am sure this is the image that will impress the rakyat more than one’s qualifications,” he said.
Amirudin added that it did not matter if one only had an SPM certificate.