KOTA KINABALU: DAP Sabah Chief Dr Hiew King Cheu yesterday cleared the air on how and where he obtained his doctorate in response to the doubt raised by Luyang Community Development Officer Chin Teck Min on the authenticity of the qualification.
“It is not an engineering PhD as stated by Chin Teck Ming when he told the media that I should disclose where I obtained my PhD and whether it is authentic engineering PhD,” Hiew said.
“Chin Teck Ming has been very kind to open up the issue, at least I can show the people that my PhD was obtained through a lot of hard work, research, experience, knowhow and it is based on my lifetime work as a businessman, an engineer, a contractor, a social worker and as a politician.
“My PhD is a doctorate in business administration from the Inter American University,” the Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament said.
He said his first degree was in Building Technology and Management, for which he graduated with Honours Degree First Class from Brighton Polytechnic in the United Kingdom in 1978.
“Among my classmates are a number of Sabahans, some are senior engineering consultants still working in JRK, JKM and Peninsular Malaysia. They can bear testimony to my study in UK at Brighton and Hove,” Hiew said.
On Chin’s question about his qualification in engineering, Hiew said that after graduation, he worked for a while in UK before coming back to Sabah.
“I started my working life as an engineer in the then Water Works as my specialty is water supply which includes constructing water facilities, reservoir, treatment plants, water tanks and pipelines,” he said, adding that he was involved in several contracts all over the state including the construction of the waterworks in Telupid, Telibong, Sandakan, Kasigui, Lahad Datu, Tawau and Sipitang Pulp and Paper mill.
“I did not register with the Institute of Engineers Malaysia because I saw no point in doing so. If I am not a qualified person, how could I handle so many projects in Sabah? I had also constructed water facilities in Brunei,” he said.
After working for a period of time, Hiew decided to go for his MBA and from there he worked even harder to earn the PhD.
“My paper qualified me for the Philosophy Doctorate in Business Administration, and I obtained my PhD in BA,” he said, adding that those who still have doubts can check the Inter American University at iauniversity.net as his details as a student and his thesis can be obtained from the website.
Hiew also told reporters yesterday that he is planning to do another doctorate in power engineering at the Open University here and the project that he will be doing starting September will help Sabah to eventually address the power supply problem in the state.
He was of the opinion that Chin should not have picked on minor issues such as his qualifications when there are more pressing matters for the latter to address in Luyang.
He added that some people have asked him to take legal action against Chin for the “near accusation” that his doctorate was not authentic.
Chin’s action of “stirring up” the waters was in actual fact disrupting DAP’s efforts to resolve the problems of the people in Sabah, he said, adding, “I do not want to retaliate and find his (Chin) faults. If I do, this issue will go on and on and will never stop.”
Meanwhile, Sabah DAP publicity chief Dr Edwin Bosi said that now the matter was cleared, Chin should apologise to Hiew for questioning his doctorate and his qualification as an engineer.
“We give him time…. if he is a gentleman he will apologise… the ball is in his court,” Edwin said, adding that it should not matter why and where a person obtains his or her doctorate from.
“If the person obtains the doctorate just so they can feel good about themselves, then let them be. They can get it from Timbuktu if they want to just as long as they do not apply for a Government job with a doctorate that is not recognised,” he said.
These people know for a fact that they can only get jobs in the civil service if their doctorate is recognised by the Government, he added.
Meanwhile, on the issue of former DAP member Jeffrey Wong Su En having created a controversy over claims that he was conferred the Knight Grand Cross (GBE) by Queen Elizabeth II, Hiew said Wong has not been in the party for a long time.
“Even those who have threatened to resign from the party en bloc have also not been in the party for a long time. We know who is behind all this,” he said, adding that the issue has political factor behind it.