PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) said the status of the honorary doctorate awarded to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob should not be disputed as Nihon University is a leading institution in Japan.
In a statement, the agency said honorary degrees awarded by universities have their own value, adding that such honorary degrees have been awarded by universities from the US, the UK, Australia, and other developed countries.
The statement was to address speculation and claims by netizens that Nihon University was not recognised by MQA.
A Twitter user said he had checked with MQA’s online system and found that the university was not listed.
MQA said that in practice, an honorary doctorate was a prestigious award to a selected figure for a significant contribution in a particular field, such as academics, industry experts, community activists, and national leaders.
It said for foreign qualifications not listed in the Malaysian system, the verification process was based on the recognition status of the country of origin.
Ismail was awarded an honorary doctorate in medicine by Nihon University during his six-day official trip to Japan.
He was awarded the honorary doctorate in recognition for his efforts and contributions in the fight against Covid-19.