PETALING JAYA: Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong Choo Kiong, one of several Pakatan Harapan leaders alleged to have obtained fake degrees, has denied using his academic credentials to woo voters.
“I have always told everyone that I am a businessman,“ he said. Yong has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) degree from the US-based University of Akamai, which is alleged to be degree mill.
He said it was unfair of MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong to announce to the world that the degree he received was not recognized by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, or fake.
Speaking to Nanyang Siang Pau on Sunday, Yong said: “In my address at the Pakatan Harapan Chinese New Year open house last (Saturday) night, I asked the electorate of Tronoh whether I’d used any paper qualifications to fish for votes during elections. No, I’ve always told them that I was a businessman.”
“The voters supported me because they know I can serve them well.”
On his qualifications, he said anyone can go to his Facebook page to check.
“It is clearly written there, including the year I graduated, there is nothing to hide,“ he said.
Yong said his case is different as he has never used the degree to look for employment or for political purposes.
He said although he was already a successful businessman by the late 1990s, for the sake of self-improvement he enrolled in a distance learning programme advertised in an English newspaper in 2003.
Yong said he paid more than RM20,000 for the course that also required him to attend classes weekly at a hotel in Sunway.
He said several of the lecturers were from MCA and wondered why the party did not take action if they knew that the degrees offered by the university were not recognized in Malaysia.