Stop The Penchant For Buying Dubious Titles and Awards 24/09/2009 Editorial Utusan Malaysia

24/09/2009 Stop The Penchant For Buying Dubious Titles and Awards

The concern voiced by Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim on the penchant for getting dubious academic titles by certain people should be given serious attention. It must be stopped immediately. As said by Rais, the activities of title-buying if not handled now would give rise to a generation of “fake intellectuals” in the future. His claim is actually true when you look around where many people suddenly having a prefix “Dr“ for Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) to their names. Rais would not make the claim without evidence. So the “PhD Express” as mentioned by Rais must be halted. Don’t let it become a “culture”. Imagine if the nation is inundated by those with “Dr” title but actually obtaining the faked doctorate degree through unethical means. The title is obtained without having to go through the stringent academic process. To this group, ethic and credibility are least in their mind. If the phenomena get exposed and unraveled, one could imagine the damage it could have done to the intellectual community as a whole. It is unfortunate for those who genuinely obtained their PhD through the proper educational exercise. Their credibility would somehow be affected as well. We salute and give compliment to leaders or individuals who are willing to burn their midnight oil in preparing theses for their doctorates. It is not easy to obtain a PhD. There are those who had to spend many years studying before they are awarded the title. The impact on over the counter PhD, seems to be more severe than the habit of social climbers in buying their way to be awarded the fictitious Datukship. The social hunting for Datukship is also unethical but at least it doesn’t involve intellectualism. It doesn’t affect the educational development of the country. But morally, both the buying of Datukship and PhD titles are just totally unacceptable. It must be stopped. As Rais had said, identify ways that could be done to overcome the problem. The Attorney-General must act swiftly. Just pronounce that such an act is a crime and then use any available legal avenue to nail them. Don’t let such indiscriminate act became a social cancer and embarrass the nation. The Datukship must be awarded to those who really deserve the prestigious title. Don’t let the title turn into a valueless piece of paper. Don’t let the “Dr or Datuk” titles be awarded to those who can afford to get it at any price.

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