PETALING JAYA: A French historian has hit out at Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) defence of two of its academics accused of misrepresenting facts about Malay maritime history, calling it a “joke”.
Serge Jardin also challenged the expertise of those who conducted the blind peer review for the duo’s paper, saying UPM’s defence could be easily disproved, New Straits Times reported.
“How is it possible for an expert not to see the difference between a Chinese junk and a Malay jong? Have you ever seen a Malay boat with a pair of eyes at the bow, which clearly belongs to Chinese culture?” he was quoted as saying.
“How can a maritime expert confirm the galley (ghali) was used in Melaka, in the Sultanate of Melaka fleet, before the arrival of the Portuguese and the Ottomans in Southeast Asia? There is no historical source to sustain that affirmation.”
Jardin was responding to UPM, which yesterday defended the research on Malay maritime history by two of its academics after they were accused of distorting facts.
Rozita Che Rodi and Hashim Musa wrote “The Jongs and The Galleys: Traditional Ships of The Past Malay Maritime Civilization” which was published in the International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Vol 13, Issue 11, 2023.
The university said the article complied with the policy of blind peer-reviewed journals, and that social science and humanities studies were “open to interpretation”.
Jardin questioned the journal, saying it was a “pay to publish” journal and that its publisher, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, was listed as predatory in Beall’s List.
Beall’s List, originally created by University of Colorado librarian and researcher Jeffrey Beall, is a widely used and referenced list that identifies potential predatory publishers and journals.
“UKM (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) has even put up a list of predatory publishers/journals, which can be found on its website,” said Jardin, adding that the journal appears on the list.
“‘Tidak diiktiraf’ (not recognised) by UKM but good enough for UPM?”
Jardin added that UPM should “at the very least” follow UKM’s example and blacklist the journal.