I’m innocent, says Marzuki


Reports ZAKIAH KOYA, RAZAK AHMAD, MARTIN CARVALHO, MOHD FARHAAN SHAH and R.SEKARAN 

PETALING JAYA: Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya, the man caught in the Cambridge fiasco, says he played no part in the misinformation that his degree was from the UK university.

He maintained that he had always said he was from the Cambridge International University (CIU) in the United States, which he enrolled in the year 2002.

“Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, anytime. Honestly, I never inserted any information with regards to my education in Wikipedia.

“I also never asked anyone to do it. When I was asked by the media, I clearly said that I was from Cambridge International University (CIU) in US and not the University of Cambridge in UK,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia secretary-general said he pursued the course mainly for the purpose of knowledge on logistics in the US as he was then chief executive officer of a shipping and logistics company in Penang.

“It never crossed my mind that I will one day hold a top position in the government.

“I never intended to use my qualification to confuse anyone. I was hoping that the know­ledge I gained then would help me further expand the business.

“I also completed my assignments for the subjects as requested by the university,” added Marzuki, who lost the contest for the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary seat in Penang during GE14 by 81 votes but was appointed senator and deputy minister soon after.

Marzuki, 49, claimed that at the time he enrolled at CIU, the accreditation of universities were not widely discussed.

“There were no proper and systemised university rankings as there is today. At that time, there were also no lists of bogus universities.

“When I knew of the course offered by CIU, which had to do with my field of business, I enrolled without thinking of the accreditation of the course,” he stated.

Responding to calls by the Opposition that he quit as deputy minister, Marzuki said he left his fate in the hands of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is the Bersatu chairman, and the party leadership.

Since a police report was lodged over his “dubious Cambridge degree” on Monday, Marzuki had been under fire for the information on his Wikipedia page that he had a degree from UK’s prestigious Cambridge University. The page was later edited.

CIU stated on its website that it was not an accredited university. It has come under intense scrutiny and increasing suspicion that it is a “diploma mill” that awards degrees with little or no study.

It claims to offer 150 programmes, but only has 12 faculty members and 13 adjunct faculty members listed on its website, which is currently down.

Furthermore, pictures of many of its faculty members seem to be stock images, while one carried the watermark of an online dating site. The university page has been down since Friday.

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Politics , Marzuki Yahya