To possess a university degree is good. It shows we have completed a course of study and achieved certain academic standards in the field we embarked on.
However, not having an academic degree is not the end of the world. In fact, many have done remarkably well, not only materially but character wise, without attending a university.
A university degree or a professional qualification is a must in certain fields such as medicine, dentistry, engineering, accountancy and law. But this is not the case for fulltime politicians, entrepreneurs or businessmen. In fact, we may respect them even more for achieving success through their own ingenuity and experience.
So, why the need to go “out of the way” to get a university degree, something Malaysian politicians are particularly obsessed with? More so the degrees obtained are from degree mills which impersonate reputable names but impose no academic rigour or discipline.
I think all would agree that a person with a fake degree is worse than a person without a degree. Carrying a fake degree is just so uncool and phony. It takes away that person’s character, trust and values. It bestows on him/her the traits of pretension, duplicity and hypocrisy.
It is time those holding public office come clean on this. It is time for them to discontinue claiming who they are not.
In the past, some Barisan Nasional politicians were accused of flaunting fake degrees. It caused a dent of their credibility as well as the government they represented.
I can’t say for sure this was one of the reasons why BN suffered during the last general election. But we know all small things add up. It is time Pakatan Harapan purges itself of the unhealthy and unethical practices which are so repulsive to most Malaysians.
If we have politicians who have no qualms about using a fake degree, how much really can we trust them when they declare their assets to the public?
Out of partisanship and comradeship, PH would probably ignore issues like this, thinking that this is just a small personal matter. Of course, they have the right to ignore it at their own peril.
T K Chua is a FMT reader
The views expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.