Illustrative image (Source: Free Malaysia Today)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – An estimated one in 20 potential hires in Malaysia has fake qualifications while one in 10 has credentials from unaccredited institutions, according to Akhbar & Associates, a Malaysian fraud examiner.

This comes as a foreign documentary showcases a list of possibly more than 80 Malaysians with local addresses having allegedly purchased fake degrees via Axact, a Pakistani firm known for running degree mills.

Akhbar Satar, managing director of Akhbar & Associates, said many people with fake degrees are applying for senior management jobs and it happens in multiple industries, including banks, clinics and hospitals.

Akhbar was responding to an Al-Jazeera documentary into fake degree mills in Pakistan that revealed a list of those who allegedly bought fake qualifications, including PhDs and Masters, from Axact.

The documentary film revealed that thousands of these fake degree holders were found to be working as doctors, nurses, teachers and engineers in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Thousands of people are employed in safety critical jobs while holding bogus qualifications, it reported.

Akhbar said Malaysia is “one of the worst” when it came to people buying fake degrees because the background-checking practices are poor. Most companies, he said, did not lodge a police report or take legal action against employees with fake degrees and resorted to internal action.

More than 370 fake online universities, which claim to be based in the US, are linked to Pakistani software company Axact, among which are Brooklyn Park University, Nixon University and Newford University.

Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) chief executive officer Rahmah Mohamed said no organisation should condone fake qualifications.

The Malaysian government has put the quality of higher education a priority as a key factor in producing competitive human resources and talent to support national advancement, she said.

In Malaysia, there was uproar when news broke in February that several politicians, including Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya and former Johor mentri besar Osman Sapian, had misrepresented their qualifications.-VNA