Wednesday, 23 September 2009

UPDATED: Professor Turiman Suandi and Dr. Zoharah Omar, Plagiarism is a NO-NO in ANY University

Read here and here and here for more


Professor P. Ramasamy, who served as a lecturer in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) for 25 years, said plagiarism was rampant in local universities.

He said at a press conference in Penang:
"This is a serious matter. Plagiarism is the biggest offence in Malaysian universities. But the (higher) education ministry is silent on this problem.

Academics just take things lock, stock and barrel from the internet… students copy, professors copy, associate professors copy

I know of a lecturer at UKM who plagiarised 10 books but all he got was a slap on the wrist.
All the university authorities did was to freeze his increment, and he was later transferred to UUM (Universiti Utara Malaysia) where he served as a professor.

When I was an adviser at the university, even students were doing the same. When I questioned them, they said even the LECTURERS plagiarised the students' work.

Many students also plagiarised to do their theses.
Read here for more and here

  • Read here related article in "The Great Education Debate"
    "....I remembered a core course in my second-year, where the lecturer, a very senior academic and held influential position in the department, "suggests" that all students in the course to purchase the course textbook, which was in Malay. The price of the book was RM10, but was "photocopied" and bind into a book form.

    Upon reading the book, readers will realise that all diagrams and figures in the book was "copy-and-paste", as the diagrams are worded in English, while the description and the texts are in Malay.

    Out of curiosity, a fellow coursemate began to search all textbooks and found the original version. When compared, it was obvious that every sentence of the Malay textbook was "literarily" translated and the diagrams and figures were "copy-and-paste" directly from the English version.

    The "author" to the Malay textbook is the lecturer and no acknowledgement whatsoever could be found that indicate that the Malay textbook was translated or cited from the English textbook...."
    Read here for more

  • Read here article on Australian plagiarism scandal involving Malaysian students
--- END OF UPDATE-----


In 2003, two academics from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) – a professor and one who recently received her PhD – co-authored a reference book titled "Writing an Effective Resume" . The book was meant for management students on writing resumes that would attract potential employers.

The co-authors of the book are Professor Turiman Suandi and Dr. Zoharah Omar, both from University Putra Malaysia ( UPM).

The book, "Writing an Effective Resume", among others, defines a resume and its purpose, making the resume appealing, networking, organising the employment portfolio and preparing curriculum vitae.

Then, about a year ago, suspicions arose within academia that the book may have plagiarised materials of several American university websites, including Harvard and Albion College.

UPM authorities conducted an investigation into these allegations of plagiarism by these two authors.

UPM found that a "substantial" amount of the 64-page book was lifted almost word-for-word, albeit given a local touch.

Plagiarism is simply theft. A plagiarist is an intellectual thief.

It is "HARAM" in academic circles. Among university lecturers and professors, plagiarism attracts "zero tolerance". Definitely plagiarism is a no-no when someone, especially from the academia, is writing a book, whether for profit or not. It is a crime if works are plagiarised for monetary benefit.

In this case involving a professor and a senior lecturer from UPM who wrote a book and put on sale, it can only be said the reputation of the UPM is badly damaged if NO strong action is taken. This is NOT about students who plagiarised to score high marks or students caught plagiarising to pass an exam. This involves a tenured professor and a senior lecturer with Ph.D, individuals who are supposed to lead by examples for their students.

Professor Turiman Suandi has been a lecturer in UPM since 1982; he obtained his Ph.D from the USA (Ohio State University )in 1991 and he was made a professor by UPM in 2003. He is also a DEPUTY DEAN in the School of Graduate Studies. Thus he should be the first to know the pitfalls of plagiarism, especially when it comes to co-authoring a book. Dr. Zoharah Omar has a LAW degree, albeit from the International Islamic University, Malaysia. Based on their professional background alone, there is no excuse at all for not knowing what they did when they plagiarised (with monetary interest) other people's work for their book, "Writing an Effective Resume."

One can only imagine what is going through the minds of those students in UPM currently being tutored by these two lecturers. Firstly, there will be this lurking suspicion on their research dissertation for their Ph.D, and then questions will be asked on the originality of their past publications in journals or as presented in conferences and seminars.

What about the rest of the academic staff in UPM? Are there others in UPM who plagiarised but not yet caught? What about the academic staff of other Universities in the country?

Yet, the authorities in UPM are not taking this problem seriously. UPM vice-chancellor Dr Nik Mustapha R. Abdullah was quoted as saying that Professor Turiman and Dr Zoharah Omar would only get a stern warning for plagiarising materials from the Internet to produce a guide book, and said " this warning would also be included in their service records, which would affect their promotion. Since this is a guide book, we decided that the punishment was reasonable. "

According to the UPM Vice Chancellor, the senior author (Professor Turiman ) admitted the manuscript looked all right to him, not realising that it was taken from another work, and the junior author, (Dr. Zoharah) said that since the source was from the Internet, she thought the information was in the public domain and as such did not cite the article.

These are inexcusable explanations, coming from members of academia writing a book. One can accept a certain level of sloppiness or plead of ignorance by students, but definitely it is not at all acceptable coming from teaching staff of an institution of higher learning.

The UPM Vice Chancellor's statement that plagiarism by Professor Turiman and Dr. Zoharah did not affect UPM undergraduates as the work was not a textbook, only further confirms UPM's HIGH tolerance for cheats and mediocrity.

It is this kind of remarks by Vice Chancellors in the country that stand in the face of the nation's ambition to have its institutions of learning becoming "World Class" universities.

The weak response by UPM to a problem said to be endemic in almost all of our universities sends a wrong message to students, to employers and to the international academic fraternity.

In the interest of their professional integrity and to avoid unnecessary embarrassment with their fellow colleagues and students, Professor Turiman Suandi and Dr.Zoharah Omar should be asked to resign by the UPM authorities, or they themselves should resign voluntarily from their current positions they are holding, if not, from the university totally, to give sufficient time to themselves to rehabilitate professionally from this scandal.

Susan Bakar rightly commented:
" UPM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Nik Mustapha R. Abdullah says " It is unintentional" . These words shock me MORE than the fact the book was plagiarised!

No academic can ever make the excuse of ignorance or carelessness, since their whole training is in HOW to access, use and build on the intellectual property of OTHERS.

What example does this set for the cut-and-paste generation of students?..."
(Read here more comments on this issue by readers of "Bibliobibuli"Blog)
We agree with the following comment made:

".... These two lecturers have committed a serious offence which is not just against academic integrity but also against the law, as they had used copyrighted material for commercial gain. How can they be “unfortunate” and be “suffering” for plagiarism?

If a full professor can commit supposedly “unintentional” plagiarism, what does it say about this person's credibility as a high ranking academic? The university's investigation had concluded that "substantial" amount of the 64-page book was lifted almost word-for-word, thus how “unintentional” could it be?

It is the dignity of Malaysia's higher education system that suffers the biggest loss and not the printers of the book.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin's ignorance in refusing to condemn the actions of the plagiarists and his unconvincing defence by claiming that plagiarism happens in other countries as well shall not be welcomed by Malaysians who yearn for excellence in Malaysian academia...." Read here for more

Here is some advice for Professor Turiman Suandi and Dr Zoharah Omar and other Malaysian academics if they don't know what constitutes plagiarism.

What is Plagiarism: (from Macquarie University)
Definition: Plagiarism involves using the work of another person and presenting it as one's own.

The integrity of learning and scholarship depends on a code of conduct governing good practice and acceptable academic behaviour. One of the most important elements of good practice involves acknowledging carefully the people whose ideas we have used, borrowed, or developed. All students and scholars are bound by these rules because all scholarly work depends in one way or another on the work of others.

Opportunities and temptations for plagiarism have increased with the spread of internet access. Plagiarism is a serious threat to the teaching and accreditation process, and seriously undermines the collegial and ethical principles which underpin the work of a University.

Any of the following acts constitutes plagiarism unless the source of each quotation or piece of borrowed material is clearly acknowledged.
  1. copying out part(s) of any document or audio-visual material (including computer based material);
  2. using or extracting another person's concepts, experimental results, or conclusions;

  3. summarising another person's work;

  4. in an assignment where there was collaborative preparatory work, submitting substantially the same final version of any material as another student.
The following are examples of plagiarism, scaled from the mildest to most serious offences, which may be collectively known as "The Plagiarism Continuum" (Walker, J. (1998) "Student Plagiarism in Universities: What Are We Doing About it?" Higher Education Research and Development, 17, 1, 89-105:
"Sham paraphrasing":
Material copied verbatim from text and source acknowledged but represented as paraphrased.

"Illicit paraphrasing":
Material paraphrased from text without acknowledgement of source.

"Other plagiarism":
Material copied from another student's assignment with the knowledge of the other student.

"Verbatim copying":
Material copied verbatim from text without acknowledgement of the source.

"Self-plagiarism" or "recycling":
Same assignment submitted more than once for different courses.

Assignment written by a third party and represented by student as own work.

Assignment copied from another student's assignment or other person's paper without the person's knowledge.

Turiman bin Suandi (Read here for more)

Position: Professor / Deputy Dean (Student Affairs & QA) of School of Graduate Studies

Qualifications : Dip. Animal Health and Prod. (UPM), B.S. (Florida), M.S., Ph.D. (Ohio State)

Department: Professional Development and Continuing Education

Area of Specialization: Youth & Development


Professor Dr. Turiman Suandi works in the area of youth development and volunteerism as a field of specialization for more than 25 years.

Prof. Dr. Turiman Suandi completed his high school at the Royal Military College, Sungei Besi. He obtained his diploma in Animal Health and Production from UPM in 1978.

He was appointed as a lecturer with Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (now Universiti Putra Malaysia) in 1982. Since then, his contributions in teaching, research and services has been focused on the community and youth development.

Prof. Dr. Turiman Suandi obtained his doctoral degree in 1991 in Extension Education and Youth Development from the Ohio State University, Columbus, USA. He was promoted to Professor in 2003.

Currently he serves as the Deputy Dean in-charge of student and Student Affairs at School of Graduate Studies.

He is actively involved in the Parent Teacher Associations at the primary and secondary schools. He is currently an Honorary Fellow at the Selangor Youth Council and a resource person at the Selangor Youth Consultative Council.


* 2008. Member. Professional Youth Worker. IRPA.
* 2008. Leader. Contemporary youth culture: implications on the future generation. IRPA.



* Steven Eric Krauss, Azimi Hamzah, Zoharah Omar, Turiman Suandi, Ismi Arif Ismail, Mohd Zaidan Zahari & Zanariah Mohd Nor (2009). Preliminary Investigation and Interview Guide Development for Studying how Malaysian Farmers’ Form their Mental Models of Farming. The Qualitative Report Volume 14 Number 2 June 2009 245-260

* Ezhar Tamam, Turiman Suandi, Ismi Arif Ismail, Steven Eric Krauss, Dzuhailmi Dahalan, Khairuddin Idris and Nur Fatihah Abdullah Bandar (209). Benchmarking Malaysian Youth Work Practitioner Ethics. THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY SOCIAL SCIENCES, Volume 3, Number 10 (153-160)

* Krauss, S.E. & Suandi, T. (2008). The potential of youth workers as facilitators of values formation and development. Commonwealth Youth and Development, 6:1 (2-14).

* Ali Hassan Khalil, Maimunah Ismail, Turiman Suandi and Abu Daud Silong (2008). Influence of Leadership Competencies on Extension Workers' Performance in Yemen. The Journal of Global Business Management, 4:1 (388-394).

* Ali Hassan Obaid Khalil, Maimunah Ismail, Turiman Suandi and Abu Daud Silong (2008). Extension Worker as a Leader to Farmers: Influence of Extension Leadership Competencies and Organisational Commitment on Extension Workers’ Performance in Yemen. Journal of International Social Research 2008 v.1, n. 4, 368-387.

* Sebastian Koren Francis, Turiman Suandi, Jegak Uli & Muhammad Madi Bin Abdullah (2008). An Indigenous Community Leader’s Self-Directed Life-Long Learning Encounter. International Education Studies, v.1 n.4 2008, p. 86.

* Mohd Ghazali Mohayidin, Turiman Suandi, Ghazali Mustapha, Mohd. Majid Konting, Norfaryanti Kamaruddin, Nor Azirawani Man, Azura Adam & Siti Norziah Abdullah (2008). Implementation of Outcome-Based Education in Universiti Putra Malaysia: A Focus on Students’ Learning Outcomes. International Education Studies, v.1 n.4 2008, p. 147.

* Ruziah Ghazali, Aminah Ahmad, Jegak Uli, Turiman Suandi, and Siti Aishah Hassan (2008). Commitment to Change among Managers in a Selected Service Organization in Malaysia. International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 8, pp.123-134.

* Ezhar Tamam, Turiman Suandi, Ismi Arif Ismail, Steven Eric Krauss, Dzuhailmi Dahalan, Khairuddin Idris and Nur Fatihah Abdullah Bandar (2008). Benchmarking Malaysian Youth Work Practitioner Ethics. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 10, pp.153-162.


* Turiman Suandi (2009). Volunteerism: expanding the frontiers of youth development. Inaugural Lecture Series. UPM Press.

* Rosma Osman, Ghazali Mustapha, Turiman Suandi, Ibrahim Nazri & Bahaman Abu Samah (2008). Teachers' Perception on Thinking Skills as an Innovation and Its implementation in English Language Teaching. In ELT Matters 2: Development in English Language Learning and Teaching. Jayakaran Mukundan, Dzeelfa Zainal Abidin and Dulip Singh Ranjet Singh (Eds.). UPM Press.


* Turiman Suandi, Azimi Hamzah, Wan Mahzom Ahmad Shah, Ezhar Tamam, Ismi Arif Ismail, Siti Raba’ah Hamzah, Mohammad Rezal Hamzah, & Dzuhailmi Dahalan (2009). Jalinan sosial belia Malaysia. UPM Press

* Siti Rabaah Hamzah, Turiman Suandi & Azimi Hamzah (2008). Interfacing Programme: Universiti Putra Malaysia, Oxford University, Brunel University and Commonwealth Youth Programme (in Malay). UPM Press.

Professional and Study Awards

* One silver award at UPM Innovation & Research Expo 2008

Teaching experience

* 27 years teaching experience in the areas of Youth Development & Volunteerism, and Research Methods at undergraduate and graduate levels.

Zoharah bte Omar (Read here for more)

Position: Senior Lecturer

Qualifications : L.L.B. (Hons)(UIA), M.S. (HRD)(UPM), Ph.D Psychology (UKM)

Department: Professional Development and Continuing Education

Area of Specialization: Human Resource Development


Dr. Zoharah Omar completed her high school at the High School, Kluang, Johor.

She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Laws at the International Islamic University, her Master’s degree in Human Resource Development at University Putra Malaysia and her Ph.D degree in Psychology specializing in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia .

Before her appointment as a Lecturer in the Department of Professional Development and Extension Education, Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2003, she has worked as the Legal and Human Resource Manager in a multinational manufacturing company for seven years.

She was also the Industrial Court Panel representing employers. Prior to that, she worked as a lawyer in an advocate and solicitors firm in Kuala Lumpur and has also worked as the Market Supervision Division Executive at the Securities Commission.

She was the investigating and prosecuting officer handling securities industry cases and was involved in the development of policy and procedure for licensing under the Securities Industry Act 1983.

Since her appointment as a Lecturer, she has been involved in several researches and paper presentation activities at both national as well as international level. Besides that, she is actively involved in community services such as delivering public speech to graduates on resume writing, job interview and preparation for employment.

She is also involved in consultancy work, and she is currently a consultant and a resource person to a multinational company.


* Rusinah Joned, Khor Poy Hua & Zoharah Omar. (2008). Parents’ Views on Implementation of Safety Procedures at Child Care Centers. Journal of ARAHE (15)2, 43-50

* Rusinah Joned, Fong Ching Shen & Zoharah Omar. (2008). The Practice of Effective Inter-group Communication Among Hospitality Employees In A Selected Hotel. European Journal of Scientific Research, 20(3) May

* Aminah Ahmad, & Zoharah Omar (2008), Gender differences in Work-Family Conflict and Family Friendly Employment Policies Practices, The International Journal of Humanities, 6(3), 15-26.

* Rusinah Joned, Siti Jalilah Abd Manaf, & Zoharah Omar (2007). Employees’ identification, cohesiveness and communication towards their work group in Post-Merger of XYZ Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, 15(1): 9 - 23.

* Zoharah Omar (2006). The Influence of Work Group Characteristics on the outcomes of self-managed work team design. In Maimunah Ismail, Aahad M. Osman-Ghani, Shamsuddin Ahmad, Abdul Lateef Abdullah, Ismi Arif Ismail, & Jamilah Othman (Eds) Human Resource Development In Asia: Thriving on Dynamism and Change. Vol I. (pp. 718-725) Department of Professional Development and Continuing Education: Serdang.

* Zoharah Omar, Arifin Hj Zainal, Fatimah Omar & Rozainee Khairuddin (2006). Pengaruh konteks organisasi terhadap tingkah laku kewargaan organisasi dalam pasukan kerja pengurusan kendiri. Proceedings of the ISM-UKM Community Development Psychology Seminar. Publication Number 983-99867-8-3. p. 62-73.

* Zoharah Omar (2005). Self-Managing Work Team: An Alternative Approach to Work Re-design. In Aminah Ahmad, Zoharah Omar, NorWahiza Abdul Wahat, & Maimunah Ismail (Eds). Human Resource Development: Practices and Directions for a Developed Malaysia. (pp. 217-223) Universiti Putra Malaysia Press: Serdang.

* Aminah Ahmad, Zoharah Omar, NorWahiza Abdul Wahat, & Maimunah Ismail (Eds) (2005). Human Resource Development: Practices and Directions for a Developed Malaysia. Universiti Putra Malaysia Press: Serdang


Project leader (2006 – 2010)
Project Title: Consultancy services on human resource and related legal matters

Co-researcher (2004 – 2005)
Project Title: Kajian Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Untuk Bahagian Kemahiran MARA


* Appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource as Industrial Court Panel from year 2001 – 2003.

* Appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource as Industrial Court Panel from year 2007 – 2009.


CYC said...

Congratulations to UPM and Ministry of Higher Education for being such fantastic supporter of mediocrity. May our nation blossomed with half past six educationist and self inflated ego that everything we do we aim for for World Class status. the same apply to plagiarism. Thou shall not challenge us as we deserve to be No. 1 in this field and perhaps Ng Yen Yen can help to fight for its patent right worldwide, ranking side by side with Asam Laksa or Hainanese Chicken Rice.

Now you know why our degree is so valuable that an accountancy graduate is only good enough to issue payment voucher and preparing cheque. They will instead showing their backside when ask to elaborate on their education/family background.

Maklumlah maths is teach by way of "Five push two equals three" Para professor sekalian yang diundang ke talk show pun sekadar beri comment setengah masak macam taukeh jual sayur kat pasar. Setiap kali saya tonton program macam ini saya rasa nak muntah mendengar hujah mereka. Tak ada isi langsung. Malu jika ditontoni olih masyarakat antarabangsa.

Anonymous said...

eating into daily lives of Malaysian;

UMNO must be voted out before we are all eat shit

thank you

Anonymous said...

aiyooyo ...super copy-cats ...meow !!

Anonymous said...

malu...malu...MALU...kemaluan BESAR !

Anonymous said...

...mau..mau cari duit manyak to buy a 24juta mansion laa !!

Anonymous said...

rumah2 kami manyak small , nak macam toyol punya ...tolong laa , kasih chance ...ok ? !

Anonymous said...

higher edu minister : ' we are very strict with our lecturers one ...!! '

Anonymous said...

OMG..i knw both of them very well..

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angelacooper839 said...

UPM authorities conducted an investigation into these allegations of plagiarism by these two authors. HND Assignment Help