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Fake thesis and pseudo-PhDs – no excuse why Higher Education Ministry has not launched a full inquiry to root out such university fraud and intellectual dishonesty

Media Statement (2)         
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Saturday): New Straits Times carried a scoop today with its front-page expose: PSST, WANT YOUR THESIS WRITTEN” and its page 4 lead story “Phantom writers an 'open secret'” on “Hundreds of master's and PhD students are getting ‘professional thesis writers’ to pen their theses”.

The Higher Education Ministry is aware of such intellectual fraud and university scam but is not doing anything about it.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Kiat admitted:

"I have heard that some students are even placing notices at campuses requesting for the services of thesis writers.

"There are also those who offer their services by placing notices at the campuses.

"The institutions should immediately find out who these people are."

Ong advised students not to resort to such unethical means to obtain their degrees as they were not only cheating themselves but also society.

He said his ministry was not unable to take action as the students, the professional thesis writers nor the institutions of higher learning had come forward with complaints or information.

The NST reported a case of RM8, 000 paid by a mature student to get a Masters thesis written.

The market rates for such fake thesis writing are:


Term Papers          RM17 per page
Academic writing   RM153 per page

Custom-made term papers

5-10 Days Delivery                         RM44.20 per page
3-4 Days Delivery                           RM51 per page
2 Days Delivery                               RM68 per page
14-Hour – Next Morning Delivery   RM92 per page

Ong is wrong and seriously remiss in discharging his duties as Deputy Higher Education Minister in not doing anything to check and eradicate these intellectual fraudulent malpractices in our universities.

Since Ong knew about such intellectual fraud of fake thesis writing and pseudo-PhDs, the Higher Education Minister, Datuk Mustapha Mohamed would have known or Ong would have failed in his duty in not keeping his Minister informed of such serious intellectual transgressions in our universities.

Why Mustapha or Ong didn’t sent officers from his Ministry incognito into universities where such intellectual malpractices are rampant to verify and root them out?

Is this because intellectual dishonesty is the order of the day in the entire Malaysian university system with the adoption of the fraudulent meritocracy system by equating two completely different examinations – STPM and matriculation – of the same standards for university entrance despite the vast gap in intellectual attainments for both examinations?

So long as Mustapha and Ong continue to defend the indefensible, claiming that STPM and matriculation are of the same standards, refusing to jettison the fraudulent meritocracy system and replace it with a common university entrance examination for all students, nobody can expect them to be rigorous about upholding high intellectual standards to ensure university quality and excellence.

It is no wonder that our universities are also plagued by other abuses and malpractices of intellectual dishonesty or fraud, like plagiarism by university lecturers. In fact, there is one case where an academician who was promoted to be Vice Chancellor although he had been dogged by serious allegations of plagiarism.

Mustapha and Ong cannot sit pretty doing nothing about the New Straits Times expose of fake thesis writing and pseudo-PhDs if they are serious about the Higher Education Strategic Plan to create world-class universities – even if it is going to take decades.


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

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