Why so few China, Taiwan degrees recognised by JPA?

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 13, 2013): MCA Youth chief and Air Itam MP Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong has expressed concern about a possible tit for tat by Malaysia's selective recognition of China and Taiwan's degrees, Sin Chew Daily and China Press reported today.

He was commenting on the disclosure by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim in Parliament on Monday that the Public Services Department (JPA) recognises only nine China and 22 Taiwan degrees although the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) has accredited the qualifications of close to 1,000 institutions of higher learning from the two countries.

Wee said the Memorandum of Understanding between Malaysia and China on the mutual recognition of degrees awarded by each other's key universities was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and then Chinese premier Wen Jiabao.

As for mutual recognition of academic qualifications between Malaysia and Taiwan, he said it was reached between the Malaysian government and the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT).

Wee, who was former deputy education minister, said he was baffled over JPA's decision to recognise only selected qualifications such as engineering and medical degrees from selected universities.

He said everyone had hailed the mutual recognition of degrees between Malaysia and China and Taiwan as a good move.

"I don't want the situation to go back to square one at the end of the day," he said.

He parried the question when asked whether he felt JPA's action smacks of a political backlash against the Chinese (for supporting the opposition in the last general election), saying it undermines Malaysia's integrity.

He said he had brought the issue to the attention of the prime minister after his queries with JPA drew a blank.