Khaled: Govt not taking action against UPM cheaters

Hemananthani Sivanandam, The Edge

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said no action would be taken by the government against two Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) lecturers who were caught for plagiarism.

"We accept and respect the university's autonomy so we leave it to the wisdom of the university to take appropriate action. There is no need for the ministry to get involved in this," said Khaled.

Speaking to reporters after delivering his opening address at the meeting with chief executives from private institutions, Khaled said it was up to UPM to take the appropriate action to ensure the incident did not recur.

theSun on Monday published a story on two UPM lecturers who are facing career-damaging action for plagiarism.

The two academicians, a professor and one who recently received her PhD, produced a book six years ago titled "Writing an Effective Resume".

However, about a year ago suspicions arose within the academia that the book contained plagiarised materials of several American university websites, including Harvard and Albion College.

Based on investigations conducted by the university, it was discovered that a "substantial" amount of the 64-page book was lifted almost word-for-word, though a local touch was given.

Investigations conducted by the UPM’s Legal Department concluded that among the actions to be taken are that they repay royalties to the university as well as receive "severe reprimand on their personal file", which means the duo would climb up the rungs slowly.

Khaled said although the ministry did not condone plagiarism, it wasn’t something new.

"It (plagiarism) does not only happen in our country, it is something common everywhere but UPM has to ensure this does not happen again."

Khaled said UPM's reputation was at stake and that universities in the country should govern based on the principles of integrity and responsibility.