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Issue of cabinet members' degrees does not arise, says Hanipa

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Academic qualifications are not a condition of a lawmaker being made a member of cabinet, according to de facto Deputy Law Minister Hanipa Maidin. 

In a parliamentary reply to Annuar Musa (BN-Ketereh) dated yesterday, Hanipa stressed there is no law specifying a qualification prerequisite for ministers and their deputies. 

"The cabinet member is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the prime minister, from any of the Houses of Parliament.

"The law does not set academic credentials as the condition for someone to be picked as a parliamentarian.

"As such, the issue relating to academic credentials does not arise," he said.

Annuar had asked Putrajaya to state its stand on the unverified academic credentials of several cabinet members.

"What is the action that will be taken to restore the image of the administration?" he had asked.

In February, several cabinet members had their qualifications called into question.

Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya was the first to come under heavy fire for possessing a degree from the US-based Cambridge International University, which critics have described as a degree mill. 

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, Local Government and Housing Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, and Deputy Human Resources Minister Mahfuz Omar thereafter clarified that they do not have university degrees. 

At the time, Hanipa said the discourse over allegedly falsified academic qualifications of several ministers is an ethical rather than legal matter.

“It should be seen from an honesty angle and not about the academic qualifications so much.

“So, if you’re talking in terms of legal action, there isn’t any,” he said.

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