BN candidates with degrees from degree mills?

Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Najib Razak (my views of BN can be found here) announced the slate of candidates for Selangor. As can be seen in news reports, Najib highlighted the credentials and qualifications of the candidates, and henceforth, displays confidence that it is BN’s best hope to reclaim the state of Selangor from Pakatan Rakyat (my views of PR can be found here).

Of course, the much anticipated announcements of candidates cumulated into great excitement amongst BN supporters because many candidates are new faces, and many are well qualified.

However, this excitement seems to be unsustainable. Just a few hours after the BN announcement of candidates, questions were raised about the true “qualification” of a few of the BN candidates.

Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) strategist began by questioning on his twitter where some of the BN candidates got their degrees from. He hinted some were from degree mills where people typically “buy degrees without qualifications”.

This morning, Ong Kian Ming issued a media statement regarding this issue. Ong Kian Ming had insights over this issue after years of blogging about education issues, which includes the study of degree mills.

News portal soon pick up the news with write-ups .

With that, voters of Malaysia should ask a few questions:

1) Does BN conduct any background checks on their prospective candidates before deciding to field them?

2) If the answer to question 1) is “no”, is BN then taking the voters for granted, by wanting them to vote in any Tom, Dick and Harry?

3) Then is it worth to support a coalition which takes voters for granted?

4) What is the integrity standing of these candidates if it is true that they had bought their degrees?

5) Can voters then trust that these representatives can serve them with full transparency and accountability once elected?

6) Are these candidates part of a larger Transformasi campaign started by Najib and BN since Najib is so boastful of this slate?

7) If the answer to question 6) is yes, then is the Transformasi worth supporting?

8) If the answer to question 6) is yes, then is the Transformasi for the better or for the contrary?

9) Should Malaysian voters, after this exposure by Ong Kian Ming, scrutinize all the candidates announced by BN?

10) Should Malaysian voters be less trusting with whatever BN candidates promise and say from now on?

11) Should voters then continue to take it at face value whatever BN and Najib say is good for the rakyat and the country?

12) Is it true that candidates of good academic achievements will surely be good representatives of the people?

One thing is for sure, many people had said that the presence of an enlarged opposition in Malaysia after 2008 is good for the people, and the country. These opposition members take the risks exposing several misconducts by officals and a few other scandals, knowing the full possibility of being detained, being charged, or being discriminated against by the state. The opposition is willing to take such risks all for the sake of speaking up for the people, in the name of justice!

This is something seemingly “pro-establishment people” are unable or simply unwilling to acknowledge, for they are the opportunists who prefer to maintain the status quo under the pretext of “preservation of stability”, and prefer to charge that the opposition is merely taking an easy way out without assuming any risks of governance.

These “pro establishment people” would be disappointed to know, and hate to admit, that even the PR state governments, such as those of Penang and Selangor, can boost of various achievements which include enacting transparency in tenders, and reducing the states’ debt levels.

By not taking what’s being said and presented at face value, voters can always see which way ahead presents the best option for Ubah, Reformasi, and Harapan!

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