(File pix) The Higher Education Ministry is building a central database of diploma and degree holders from Malaysian public universities to clamp down on imposters bearing bogus qualifications. Pix by Malai Rosmah Tuah

KUALA LUMPUR: The Higher Education Ministry is building a central database of diploma and degree holders from Malaysian public universities to clamp down on imposters bearing bogus qualifications.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching said each university has a list of every diploma and degree holder.

“The central database will also list recipients of honorary degrees, and positions of professor emeritus, Royal Professor (Professor Diraja) and Distinguished Professor (Professor Ulung),” she said in reply to a question from Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin (PAN-Teluk Kemang) during the Minister's Question and Answer (MQT) session in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.

Yap revealed that The Ministry is working with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block websites suspected of offering fake diplomas and degrees.

She added that the ministry will provide information to police on fake certificate syndicates detected; and pointed out that they lodged a police report on syndicates offering fake academic certificates on Feb 10 this year, while another report was also lodged by the ministry on Oct 2.

Yap said the selling of fake certificates is criminal fraud and can be investigated by police under the Penal Code.

"The ministry will also work with public and private higher education institutions to help employers verify the certification of job candidates,” she said.

At the same time, the Ministry is also working with the Foreign Ministry to send diplomatic notes to countries where fake certificate syndicates host their web servers.

This will ensure that the local authorities of a foreign country would take more effective action against fake certificate syndicates, Yap added. – With additional reporting by Arfa Yunus