Plagiarism Endemic in higher education system: Deputy CM

by Himanshu Bhatt

newsdesk@thesundaily.com

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Deputy Chief

Minister (II) and former academic Prof Dr

P. Ramasamy has described plagiarism as

the most endemic academic fraud in the

Malaysian higher education system.

The veteran political science lecturer

who served at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

for 25 years said the recent case of two

local lecturers having lifted content from the

websites of American universities for a book

was just the “tip of the iceberg”.

“Plagiarism is the biggest offence in Malaysian

universities. But the (Higher) Education

Ministry is silent on this problem.

“This affects the credibility of our universities.

Academics just take things lock, stock

and barrel from the internet … students

copy, professors copy, associate professors

copy,” he said.

The DAP MP for Batu Kawan said he

planned to raise the matter in parliament, and

criticised the ministry and universities for

their “lukewarm” attitude to the problem.

“I once investigated a lecturer at UKM

who had written a number of books with

plagiarised material. All the university

authorities did was to freeze his increment,

and he was later transferred to UUM (Universiti

Utara Malaysia) where he served as

a professor,” Ramasamy said.

theSun had reported on Monday that two

lecturers of Universiti Putra Malaysia were

facing action for plagiarism.

The duo – one a professor, and the other

who recently received a PhD – were found

to have lifted a substantial part of the content

of their 64-page book Writing an Effective

Resume and given it a local touch.

Ramasamy said there were many more

serious cases and that the problem was

endemic not only among teaching staff but

also among students.

“I have failed students because they had

plagiarised material in their work,” he said

after attending a state-level Malaysia Day

celebration at Komtar yesterday.

Meanwhile, Gerakan Youth secretarygeneral

Dr Dominic Lau urged universities

to sack lecturers and expel students for plagiarism,

saying it should not be tolerated.

“Plagiarism is becoming a trend in the academic

fi eld and if we do not take stern action

against offenders, academic standards will be

greatly affected,” he said in a statement.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri

Mohamed Khaled Nordin had said on

Tuesday that the government would not act

against the two lecturers and would instead

leave it to UPM to take appropriate action.

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