Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) refers to a Malaysiakini report (25 October) stating that the National Defence University (UPNM) had issued an official statement “denying any wrongdoing in its handling of an alleged plagiarism case three years ago”.
Earlier, Malaysiakini had reported (20 October) of alleged sexual abuse upon students by lecturers.
UPNM ‘sofficial statement is noted to have gone viral in various chat groups. The official statement is nothing but a whitewash riddled with half truths.
The court case which the official statement by UPNM refers to does not deal with the plagiarism case. It was a private defamation suit which is still ongoing. To refer to the case and to imply that the issue has been settled by the court is an irresponsible manipulation of the fact which we believe has been deliberately done to deceive the public. It is also subjudice to the trial and constitutes an act of contempt of the court. UPNM has an obligation to explain in detail why it has decided to refer to this case.
Rather than coming up with the official statement which does not specifically provide any evidence to rebut the allegation, UPNM should allow and welcome the investigation by the Ministry of Education, especially if the university feels that it has nothing to hide.
Patriot views plagiarism in institutions of higher learning as a serious matter, and an allegation of a cover-up in the two cases ie sexual abuse and plagiarism not handled in a truthful and professional manner would place the university in bad light.
Retired Brigadiar General Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji is president of Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan.