Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian has clarified that he did not complete his university studies.
Osman said he was once a student with the Kolej Pertanian Malaya, the predecessor of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
"However I did not complete my studies," Osman was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.
The Johor government's website previously showed that Osman had a degree and diploma in accounting from UPM. It does not state when these certificates were obtained.
However, he said he was not aware of this and has instructed for all such references on official websites to be deleted.
"I humbly apologise to all Malaysians towards the confusion and misunderstanding over my qualifications," he said.
Last week, Osman declined to answer queries about his academic qualifications, choosing to reply with a mere smile instead.
Judge by work, not qualifications
Meanwhile, in a statement later, Bukit Batu assemblyperson Jimmy Puah lauded Osman's "courage" to confront the truth, and own up to his mistakes.
"To err is human, to forgive divine. I have full confidence in Dato Osman Sapian’s leadership and his ability to continue leading Johor in his capacity as the menteri besar.
"Let’s not be hasty and denounce his lack of academic qualification, instead I appeal to the rakyat of Johor to judge him by his works ethics and his determination to make Johor a more prosperous state," said the PKR lawmaker.
Puah also vouched for Osman's work ethics, saying the menteri besar, despite his hectic schedule, often found time to meet the people on the ground.
"Such humility from a Johor MB is almost unheard of. Regrettably, this is not something he likes to boast about or even known to the media, but I personally feel that having this trait makes him a people's menteri besar.
"So let us all give him and his team a chance to fulfil the rakyat's mandate and let the result speak for itself," he said.