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Heads must roll in  the Ministry of Higher Education and Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam for being party to the RM28  million  scam by  bogus universities, the Irish International University and the Cambridgeshire University, swindling the hard-earned savings of thousands of Malaysians

Media Conference Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): I thank the Minister for Higher Education, Datuk Dr. Shafie Salleh for finally admitting that the Irish International University and the Cambridgeshire University are bogus universities, swindling thousands of Malaysians with worthless qualifications in a RM28 million scam. 

In my statement yesterday, I had underestimated the magnitude of the scam, referring to some 500 Malaysians who had  fallen victim to the bogus claims of these two “virtual” universities and being cheated of between RM7 million to RM10 million.  I had warned however that I have documentary evidence to prove the involvement of Ministry of Higher Education and the Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) in such a scam by the two bogus universities. 

Heads must roll in  the Ministry of Higher Education and JPA  for being party to the RM28  million  scam by the two  bogus universities in the past several years,  swindling the hard-earned savings of thousands of Malaysians and dashing their dreams for  higher academic qualifications. 

The two bogus universities had  been so successful in their scam  because they had been able to make use of  the certification by both the JPA and the Higher Education Ministry  to convince intending students of their legitimacy, such as: 

  • A letter by JPA dated 13th December 1999 on recognition of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees  of the Irish International University, provided the first degree is recognized by the government.
  • A letter by Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education  dated 31st October 2003 that the courses of Cambridgeshire University for Ijazah Pertama, Ijazah Sarjana and Ijazah Kedotoran are recognized by the Ministry.
  • A letter by JPA  dated 21st June 2004 that Cambridgeshire University is among the list of universities recognized by JPA.

Shafie himself should explain what he had done since becoming Higher Education Minister in March 2004 to protect Malaysians from being swindled by the two bogus universities in their scam, as his Ministry had been given very early notice about the fraudulent activities of these two universities. 

The Irish Ambassador to Malaysia Daniel Mulhall said  on Sunday that  he had been calling on the Malaysian Government to take action against the Irish International University for committing deception by parading itself as an Irish university,  as  the Irish Embassy had since last year  warned the Ministry of Higher Education of the bogus activities of the Irish International University. 

In its brochure on the Internet, the Irish International University, which has only Internet but no physical existence, made use of the name and photographs of former  Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and the president of the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities, Tengku Shamsul Bahrin to lend legitimacy to their scam. 

Mahathir and Tengku Shamsul should clear their name as I am sure they are not aware that they have been made used of in   this RM28 million scam of bogus universities and degrees. 

What I find most disappointing is the failure of the Ministry of Higher Education to act to protect the interests of thousands of Malaysians who hunger for higher education qualifications. Shafie should explain when the Higher Education Department received the first complaint about the two bogus universities, and why the government had been so tardy in taking action – apart from being a party to the scam. 



*  Lim Kit Siang,Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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