by Himanshu Bhatt
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.