KUALA LUMPUR, FEB.10: Malaysian leaders and ministers must have high academic qualifications in this modern era to face today’s challenges and global developments, according to political analysts and universities’ professors.
Yet, the Malaysians are today divided into two groups. One group says politicians or ministers need not have high academic qualifications to be good leaders.
Another group believes that a minister, deputy minister or a leader in the society must have high education qualifications in today`s modern, advanced world and for that any ministerial post must be given to a person based on merits and not on political support or nepotism.
The question about Malaysian leaders` qualification credibility have been making rounds on social media these last few days when the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs was allegedly caught “bluffing” on his academic qualification.
Reports said, at first he claimed he was graduated from University of Cambridge, UK with a Bachelor Degree in Business Management. And later after his academic credential had been scrutinized by social media users, he admitted that he was graduated from Cambridge International University (CIU) United States (Distance Learning) and not from University of Cambridge (UK).
“No doubt that some may say that paper qualification is not a prerequisite to be a political leader. But then again, a country will be proud enough to have leaders with good academic/professional qualification,” said Prof. Dr. Mokhtar Muhammad, Journalism Lecturer from University Technology Mara, (UiTM) when contacted for comment today by Malaysia World News (MWN).
Prof. Dr. Mokhtar was replying to a question to whether it is very important for a Minister or Deputy Minister or a leader to have a good academic qualification to lead the country towards development and prosperity.
“The biggest issue here is not about paper qualification, rather “lying” about their academic/professional qualification. This has tarnished the integrity and reputation of the politicians who were caught lying on the non-existence of their academic/professional qualifications,” Prof. Dr. Mokhtar added.
Commenting on some Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders who claim that a politician does not need to have any higher academic qualification to be a good leader, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Geostrategist, Prof. Dr. Azmi Hassan said:
“To be a good leader, you need to have the academic qualification and experience in today’s highly, advanced technologically charged scenario.
“But the question is at what academic level? In the United States of America (USA) at least a first degree qualification is the minimum norm. In Malaysia there’s no understanding on these minimum requirements and that’s the reason why the need to pursue and obtain qualification from prestigious universities.”
Dr. Azmi also believes that the area of your study does not matter, albeit you’re taking physics as your first degree you too can be a good leader since you’ve undergone the academic processes that can be applied to the real world”.
Dr. Azmi said, what is embarrassing is that in Malaysia it has become a norm that if you are graduated from an overseas university (a UK or American University) you can become a great leader.
“There are a lot of Malaysian politicians and successful one that don’t have any high academic qualification. Of course, a good academic qualification does not guarantee you can be a successful politician.
“But it has been the norm for Malaysians to pay high regards to leaders and politicians with good quality academic qualifications especially from prestigious overseas universities. Majority of the Malaysians have high regards on these qualifications for the wrong reasons as they believed that politicians with good academic qualifications can automatically become a good leader.
“Malaysians failed to link academic qualifications and politics for the real reason. What I meant is that if a politician has undergone academic processes such as writing thesis which requires rigorous analysis and fact findings then in politics the politician too can apply the same due process. When a wrong reason is linked to the need of academic qualifications to politics that `s the reason why certain politicians blow up their academic credentials.
“Yes I do agree that you do not need good academic credential from prestigious universities to become a politician but you need at least to undergo rigorous academic due process such as report writing,” Dr. Azmi added.
Political Analyst, Dr. Jeniri Amir when contacted by MWN for comment said: “Yes, it is good for leaders and ministers to have higher education qualifications in modern days.”
“Of course. It’s better to have highly qualified leaders.
“Leaders with higher academic qualification can grasp isssues better, especially in today’s challenging political landscape at national and global stage.
“But most importantly he/she needs to have vision, deep love for the nation, and be honest and devoted to solve the problems faced by the country and to move malaysia forward.
“Definitely a more qualified poltician can solve the compelx problems better, more ideas to lead the country and more respected by the people as more malaysians are more educated now,” Dr.Jeniri added.
Conclusively, you can be a good man or a good woman, but you may not be a good leader. You can possess a high education qualification from the best universities in the world such as Cambridge University or Oxford University, but you might not possess the good qualities of a great leader.
However, throughout the history of mankind, most of the great political leaders in the world who achieved and contributed greatly to their people and societies such as Franklin Roosevelt, Napoleon Bonaparte, Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi were great thinkers and leaders with good clarity, vision, and integrity. -Malaysia World News