: The Dewan Negara today passed the Private Higher Educational Institutions (Amendment) Bill 2017 to help the government curb the use of unrecognised and fake academic titles.
Higher Education Deputy Minister Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching, when winding up the debate on the bill, said under the amendments of the act, all private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) in the country were required to keep and provide the full list of doctorate degree recipients as reference for the government.
"Section 33A (of Act 555), which contains IPTS obligations to keep the list, has been introduced by the ministry to strengthen the regulation of academic certificates and titles.
"The provision of this section requires the IPTS to keep or provide a full list with information on the students; lecturers; field of study; as well as the recipients of doctorate degree, honorary doctorate, individuals appointed as professors or professor emeritus and others," she said.
Yap said on the efforts to curb the sale of fake academic certificates online, the ministry had developed a data base system to gather all information on PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) holders from public universities in the country.
In addition, the ministry would also collaborate with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Royal Malaysia Police in combating the sale of fake certificates and titles, she added.
Earlier when tabling the bill, the deputy minister said the amendment to the act was aimed at replacing the existing section relating to the constitution of IPTS, in order to ensure better management and further strengthen its governance system.
She said this was to ensure the IPTS would provide quality education in line with the government''s hope to turn the country into an international hub for education.
Meanwhile, the Senate had also approved the Strategic Trade (Amendment) Bill 2017 which was tabled by International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.
The bill, among others, seeks to amend the Strategic Trade Act 2010 (Act 708), to revise the provisions relating to the trading of strategic items so as to make it on par with international practices to facilitate trade by revising the quantum of punishment for offences under Act 708, and strengthen enforcement by appointing authorised officers from various agencies.