Students “forging” their way into varsity


FIRST of all, I would like to state that my undertaking to write this letter has nothing to do with the news report “Shahrizat: PM’s acceptance into UM law faculty based on merit” (The Star, Jan 20; online at https://bit.ly/3GZ51S). I would just like to share my recollection of a situation during my days in that respected institution of higher learning.

The year was 1974 and I was a second year arts student majoring in History. Rumour was spreading then that several students in Universiti Malaya had managed to gain entry by forging their Form Six (then called Higher School Certificate) exam results. I didn’t give much thought to the rumour until I met a student who was from my hometown. As I was leaving the main library, I bumped into her. She was entering the same library carrying a bundle of books.

I asked her what she was doing and she replied “First-year Law”. Imagine the shock I felt because from what I knew about her, she was not actually varsity material. My suspicion was aroused, however, and the rumour that was circulating haunted me after my meeting with her. In fact, there was talk that many of these “students” had managed to pass their varsity exams and even found employment.

Perhaps the forgery incident could have been possible, but I also believe the varsity authorities would have swung into action there and then and closed up any loopholes that allowed this purported unethical means of entering the university.

Today, at 69 years of age, I am a retired government teacher who still reminisces about my wonderful days at the great Universiti Malaya.

PROUD UM STUDENT

Kamunting, Perak

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