Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) fully supports Education Minister Maszlee Malik in pushing through the reform agenda in the public universities.
Our public universities have no place for those who are good in currying favour instead of their academic acumen. Taking the low rankings of our public universities as an indication, our standard of tertiary education leaves much to be desired. Reforms have to start without further delay.
Patriot would like to reiterate our calls made previously, among which are:
- restructure the university administration to make it more conducive for academic freedom and strive for academic excellence
- uphold meritocracy
- stop unethical academic practices such as plagiarism, cheating, and outsourced assignment work (assignment-helping services)
- repeal the Universities and Universities Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA)
Patriot would like all the vice-chancellors to make a pledge and commit to adopt zero tolerance to plagiarism among academics and students. Plagiarism and cheating if allowed to continue unabated will eat into the core of our societal value system.
Academics are seen as role models and graduates will soon hold positions in public administration and the corporate sector. Therefore it is important to start building a strong foundation in our universities and it starts with appointing the right persons as vice-chancellors.
The current state of the administration and academic standard in Universiti Pertahanan Negara Malaysia (UPNM) also leaves much to be desired. It pains us as veterans to bring up this issue, as the UPNM is the pride of armed forces personnel.
We feel for any real reform to be successful, we have to first acknowledge the shortcomings we have. Our members are fully aware of the shortcomings in UPNM and would like to suggest remedial measures before further deterioration of standard.
For this purpose, Patriot will soon be taking the initiative to seek a joint meeting with the representatives of the education ministry, UPNM and Malaysian armed forces.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd) is president of Persatuan Patriot Kebangssan.