Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fake Degree in Permatang Pauh?

Thanks Sree for pointing this out to me. Disclaimer first: I am not commenting on the record of political service of the BN candidate in the upcoming by election in Permatang Pauh - Arif Shah Oman Shah. I am merely pointing out his academic credentials, which were listed in the Star recently. It says that he has a Diploma in Civil Engineering (no university / college given) and that he's currently pursuing a PhD at the Edison University of Technology (off campus program).

Sree pointed out to me that there is not such institution as the Edison University of Technology. To give the YB the benefit of the doubt, it is very possible that the Star might have misquoted his education credentials. I knew a reporter who's a good friend who misheard Lim Si Pin, the Deputy Youth Chief of GERAKAN, and thought that he had double degrees from YALE while in fact, Si Pin had graduated from WALES.

So could it be possible that YB Arif Shah Oman Shah was pursuing a PhD at the Thomas Edison State College? Perhaps. Only problem is that this college does not offer than PhD programs whether it is in house or off campus. It only offers Masters level programs are none of them are Engineering programs which I assume is the PhD which the YB should be pursuing given his background.

Perhaps he's referring to Edison College, a small college in Florida? Could be but the only problem with that theory is that this is an undergraduate only institution. Nothing about PhDs or distance learning programs on its website.

Could he be referring to the Edison Welding Institute?

Maybe he decided to branch out of engineering and go into biotechnology and is doing a PhD with the Edison Institute of Biotechnology at the Ohio University?

This is the only reference I could find on the Edison Institute of Technology and it brings you to a rare book website selling a book that is signed by Thomas Edison and is selling for US2,500.

Maybe the YB actually didn't say Edison. Maybe he said Madison Institute of Cosmetology instead of the Edison Institute of Technology?

Or perhaps he was talking about the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or maybe the California Institute of Technology (Caltech)?

Or it could have been the Mara Institute of Technology? Except that it is called UiTM now or University Teknologi Mara?

Let's hope that he's not referring to Edison University, apparently operated by the wife of Thomas James Kirk who is in prison for creating diploma mills.

My sense of the matter is this. Because of the immense competition that takes place in the context of UMNO politics, having a degree is becoming much more important than before. He probably felt the pressure of having only a Diploma and wanted to advance his academic credentials. Instead of doing a proper degree at the Bachelor's level or even an MBA from one of the local colleges (which does not require one to have a Bachelor's), he was probably thinking, why not go all out? Why not go for a PhD instead? And since there's no way that a full time politician has the time to do a PhD, why not take the shortcut and get a fake PhD? I'm not sure how he came across Edison University but it could have been one of the places which was promoting itself as a destination for obtaining fake PhDs. He might have enrolled in the course sometime back but then didn't follow up on the procedures to obtain this PhD. When the reporter asked him about his academic qualifications, he might have forgotten the exact name of the university and blurted out Edison Institute of Technology given that it was probably an engineering PhD he was pursuing.

I'll see if any of the editors of the online newspapers will bite on this. Thanks again Sree.

13 comments:

ZACH said...

If one buy a PhD online he will still be call a Dr and he need not practice any professional job. What is important is people will call, Hi Doc......without questioning where he got his PhD from. Internet Boleh = Malaysia Boleh

crestfallen said...

i used to read somewhere Dato Arif shah used to further his study Nanyang (or is it Nanying?) University,singapore.but i'm not sure if that accurate or nor and i already forgot at which blog i browsed about it.

Victor Tan said...

yeah..u r rite..he was from nanyang (before nanyang split into NUS and NTU in 1980)

Anonymous said...

I 'm sure there is no Edison University of Technology. Anyway, according to the NSTO reports, YB is A graduate of Nanyang University in Singapore.

rajanr said...

He is a graduate of Nanyang University.

Victor: Nanyang University didn't split into NUS and NTU. It was forcibly merged with University of Singapore because Lee Kuan Yew didn't want a Chinese-medium university. Immediately after, Nanyang Technological Institute was founded in the same campus, under NUS, and then later spun off to be its own university. Some time after, NTU took over Nanyang University's alumni rolls.

int said...

"why not go all out? Why not go for a PhD instead?"

plus, people call you Dr. which just by itself may be good for a hundred or so votes.

ijai said...

dear tony,
i think that person might had referred to the Edison Biotechnology Institute.

msleepyhead said...

what great time management. serving the rakyat, 6 BN areas under his wing, and pursuing a PhD on his own time by the side. not forgetting a family to take care of.

'hendak seribu daya' as they say.

win or lose, he's a great role model.

Anonymous said...

put it this way la my fren...
if u hv the guts to blow people with c4, what's cheating for that PhD degree..?

bumilangit said...

u can read the newspaper cutting, here; www.bumilangit.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

all of you guys are wrong...
i think he was referring to edison chen, the famous HK singer/actor/porn star wannabe...

after the saga of the exposed tapes with popular HK actress.. edison went in exile in the US of A, and apparently set up a higher institute of learning to delve into the intricacies of maintaing posture and correct picture taking techniques involving nudes.

hence the name. edison institute of technology. ah...

Lost Diploma said...

This is not all. Many people get a fake degree made just to hang it on their office or house wall. It helps them in boosting about themselves to have a better impression on their clients. For example, if you are a teacher and want to become a private tutor, you can get a fake degree made to have a better impression on those visiting your house.

Anonymous said...

Bahahaha which reminds me, there"s this guy going around telling people he has 4 phd.. But surprisingly no one calles him 'dr' he never stated which uni he was from clearly but just DAE. Google him up, name: pierce wong or pierce t k wong in fb or check this webste 'linkdin' .. Something like that lah..