Trust Me I Have a (Fake) Phd

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Episode 26
This week we look into the issue of fake degrees, something that was recently hot in the news. Dr.(?) Azizan Osman’s recent controversies regarding his academic qualifications raised a lot of questions about the business of fake degrees, its implications and the motivations of people seeking them.

Would you still go for an Azizan Osman talk, knowing that his education credentials were fake?

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1 Comment

  1. Johan Mokhtar says: Reply

    This is a societal problem in Malaysia. We are a very ascriptive society. In other words, we place an inordinate level of importance on symbols.

    For example, single digit number plates. Many assume that someone driving a vehicle with a single digit number plate must be someone important. So people are willing to pay tens of thousands of ringgit.

    Or datukships. Throw a stone into a crowded room, and the chances are high that you will hit a datuk of some sort. Why? Tell someone you are a datuk, and they assume you are a special person. Again, people are happy to pay for a datukship.

    Or PhDs. Or even an undergraduate degree from a notable school. Just because you have a degree from Harvard or Oxford means little. People should take the next step. Verify the school, and then find out whether the person graduated at the top of his class, or at the bottom. Barely scraping through, no matter the pedigree of the school, must be worth less that First Class honours at a lesser school.

    The debate about which is a more serious misrepresentation, e.g, a fake PhD versus a fake medical doctor, is a slippery slope. Both are instances of dishonesty and fraud. It calls into question the moral character of the individual. To say “tak pe lah, dia banyak membantu orang” is disingenuous.

    It leads to the mindset that leads people to say about a young pedophile “He is young. We shouldn’t put his future at risk.”

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