KULAI: The Johor Mentri Besar ignored questions from the media when asked about his education credentials after attending a Chinese New Year gathering at Taman Putri Kulai here.
Datuk Osman Sapian, who is also state Pakatan Harapan chairman, merely smiled at reporters before getting into his car and leaving the event organised by Yayasan Sejahtera Kulai.
The Kempas assemblyman is among the Pakatan leaders who are having their education credentials questioned.
Facebook page Ops Johor has questioned Osman’s education background and alleged that the Mentri Besar did not obtain a degree from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
It also uploaded a picture where it tried to search for Osman’s name on the UPM search portal but could not find anything.
The Johor government portal states that Osman obtained a certificate in accounts from Metro Manila College in the Philippines in 1985, as well as a diploma and degree in accounts from UPM.
It does not mention the year the diploma and degree from UPM were awarded.
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya has also been accused of misrepresentation over the fact that his degree is from Cambridge International University in the United States and not the illustrious Cambridge University in England.
Johor PKR chief Hassan Abdul Karim, who was at the same event with Osman, admitted the controversy had cast a bad light on the ruling coalition.
“Perception is part of politics, which means it is better for those questioned about their academic background to come forward and explain,” he added.
Meanwhile, former Johor mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin took a jab at Pakatan leaders on social media.
The Umno vice-president uploaded a news report on his Instagram and Facebook accounts about Spanish health minister Carmen Monton resigning last year after reports of alleged irregularities in her education qualifications.
In George Town, Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said politicians need not be shy about their education background.
“You have to remain honest about your qualifications or your degree, and I think honesty is still the best policy,” he told reporters at the state PKR Chinese New Year open house at Sunshine Square in Bayan Baru yesterday.
Muhammad Bakhtiar, who is also state acting PKR chairman, said in this day and age, any qualification can be checked in just a few seconds.
“We cannot stop people from exposing, but the best thing is to leave it to the individual party to deal with the issues faced by their leader.
“Generally, we need to have people with integrity,” he said.