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Patriot demands action on plagiarism, harassment cover-ups at UPNM

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The government must thoroughly investigate the alleged cover-ups of plagiarism and sexual harassment at the National Defence University (UPNM), armed forces veteran group Patriot said today. 

Its president Mohamed Arshad Raji said action must be taken against those responsible, irrespective of their ranks and positions in government.

UPNM, he added, is the pride of the armed forces and thus there must not be any compromise on its standards, discipline and quality of education.

"With regard to the two cases reported, Patriot implores both the ministers of defence and education to take quick action, investigate the cases thoroughly, and wants action taken against those responsible for the wrongs, irrespective of any person holding any high office.

"The Pakatan (Harapan) government must now set a high standard of discipline, professionalism, and adopt a no-nonsense attitude towards sub-standard teaching and education. Starting with UPNM, a clear message to stop the rot must be sent, and that the government is serious," Arshad said in a statement today.

His statement came in response to a Malaysiakini exclusive report on alleged cover-ups of a case involving one of UPNM's female lecturers in 2014, who was allegedly sexually harassed by a then deputy dean, and a plagiarism case involving a female student.

It was reported that the student was caught by a marking panel plagiarising from a BBC article for her final examination paper. However, the student had allegedly been allowed to graduate with a degree after a new marking panel was set up and graded her A- for the same paper she was caught plagiarising.

Arshad said there must not be any sub-standard teaching and marking of assignments and exam papers.

"Plagiarism among students, as well as among academicians, must be viewed as total taboo with zero tolerance to it.

"The culture of bodek (currying favour) among academicians and staff of universities must stop," he added. 

Arshad it was important for UPNM to appoint people with calibre and integrity to be its vice-chancellor, deputy vice-chancellors and deans of faculties.

He added that "incapable and unqualified" persons holding top positions of the university would breed sub-par standards and mediocrity.

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