Perak exco says 'degree' was to improve himself, not for political mileage

PERAK TENGAH: Perak executive councillor Paul Yong Choo Kiong (pic) has clarified that he did not know that the university he obtained his Masters in Business Administration from was an alleged degree mill when he first started the programme.

The Tronoh assemblyman said he had only seen an advertisement about the programme and joined because he wanted to improve himself.

“I was a businessman with plenty of businesses even before I became an assemblyman. I didn’t use it for any political mileage.

“I only wanted to improve my knowledge. As you may know, I didn’t even expect to become a state representative when I first contested in the general election in 2014,” he said when met after an affordable homes key presentation ceremony in Seri Iskandar here on Tuesday (Feb12).

It was reported that MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong had questioned the education credibility of several Pakatan Harapan leaders, including Yong.

Yong said it was not fair that MCA has dug up something from 16 years back and made it an issue.

“I honestly do not want to comment further on this matter and move on,” he said, adding that he completed the distance-learning programme from Akamai University in 2004.

Meanwhile, Akamai University president Douglass Capogrossi said in a statement of legal standing dated Feb 11 that although the Hawaiian-based university is currently not regionally accredited in the United States, Akamai holds “Premier University status” with Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges and Universities (ASIC) headquartered in London in the United Kingdom.

“The University has retained good standing since its founding under the Hawaii Revised Statute HRS446E, with oversight from the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs,” he said.

In the ASIC quality summary reported in February last year, Capogrossi noted that Akamai had maintained its “Premier University status” based upon high level scores for premises, marketing,

recruitment, management, and staff resources, learning and teaching, course delivery, and quality assurance and enhancement.

“As degree requirement, students complete comprehensive examinations and an oral defence of their research.

“The University operates its innovative graduate school by conduct of quality distance education, cross-border seminars, and one-on-one mentorship,” he said, adding that over 95% of the Akamai faculty team hold accredited doctoral level credentials and are well published in research journals and academic textbooks.

Pointing out that the university’s faculty not only instruct classes at Akamai but also other accredited universities, Capogrossi said the institution also holds written affiliations with accredited and governmental-approved universities and associations across 17 nations including the US.


Across The Star Online