A recent study commissioned by a corporate fraud investigation agency Akhbar & Associates revealed a worrying trend among Malaysian talents. An estimated one in 20 potential hires in the country has fake qualifications, while one in 10 has credentials from unaccredited institutions.
These findings came as a foreign documentary showcases a list of possibly over 80 Malaysians with local addresses having purchased fake degrees via Axact, a Pakistani firm known for degree mills.
Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar, the managing director of the agency that conducts background checks for companies, said that about 5 to 7
“Many of these people with fake degrees are applying for senior management jobs and it happens in multiple industries, including banks, clinics and hospitals,” said Akhbar. He added that his agency even found doctors with fake qualifications.
Akhbar was responding to an Al-Jazeera documentary into fake degree mills in Pakistan that revealed a list of those who allegedly bought fake qualifications, including PhDs and Masters, from Axact.
The list was seized by Pakistani authorities when they raided Axact’s premises. While the names of the “students” on the list were censored, it showed that among them were possibly over 80 Malaysians with local addresses. Axact founder Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh was later arrested and charged with fraud, The Star Online reports.
In the 101 East documentary, thousands of these fake degree holders were found to be working as doctors, nurses, teachers and engineers in South-East Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
“Thousands of people are employed in safety critical jobs while holding bogus qualifications,” it reported.
Over 370 fake online universities, which claim to be based in the United States, are linked to Pakistani software company Axact, among which are Brooklyn Park University, Nixon University and Newford University.
Akhbar said Malaysia was “one of the worst” when it came to people buying fake degrees because the background-checking practice here was poor. Most companies, he said, did not lodge a police report or take legal action against their employees with fake degrees and only resorted to internal action.
“In the end, these fake degree holders have no record of their fraud and will get a job in another company. They will continue to work in the system,” said Akhbar, adding that companies had a responsibility to make a police report.