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Of Honours and Dictators

Well, apparently we are a nation that is compassionate about the affairs of others. I am not referring to the recent Budget 2014 because that’s just a whole pile of hogwash unless everything is implemented fairly to all the citizens of this wonderful nation. The day that happens.

Anyway, what I am referring to is the recent move by one private university not many outside the confines of Malaysia to award a certain doctorate to a certain dictator in a certain North Korea. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, you heard me right:


So, the next question is, “What in %^$#@ name provoked such an action?” To be fair, I am neither for or against this action. I am actually looking to investigate the pros and the cons of such an action and try to justify such a brash move.

Let’s start with the PROS:

1. A Sign of Friendship?

Firstly, I can only think of one which is actually a sign of friendship between the two nations. Perhaps the said university sees the potential in the infamous dictator in opening up the doors of a closed nation to the world. This means that said university would probably have dips on being the first private university to open up in North Korea.

However, considering that the population of North Korea is a couple of million shy of that of Malaysia not to mention the probability of a high enrolment rate to the foreign private university is very unlikely. (seriously, do you think North Korea would allow you to take students away from their government universities?)

North Korean Population

Considering that is the only pros of the merger, let us proceed to the CONS:

1. Controversy Within the General Public

Haven’t your parents ever said, “Never trouble troubles unless trouble troubles you.” In short, don’t start a problem if there isn’t one in the first place. In a desperate bid to gain a first mover advantage, said university has failed to acknowledge the fact that the backlash from the netizens as well as future domestic and international clients is far greater than that of

B. Boycott from Potential Supporters

Simple human mentality. Would you rather go to a university that acknowledges dictators or one that doesn’t. Come to think of it, there may be some who want to be famous for all the wrong things but more importantly, the actions of the university will definitely cause potential new students as well as their parents to think twice before enrolling them.

C. Destruction of Reputation

It is said that reputation takes ages to build but only seconds to destroy. In this case, conferring an honorary doctorate on a dictator that conducts public execution on his citizens on the mere sight of possessing the bible or any form of media from the outside world (seriously, no porn allowed) is not the first step to be recognized as a university that cares.


Giving them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they do want to help that small communist nation develop itself. Perhaps they have the kind intention of bringing the nation. We will have to see how this will pan out. Until my next post. Cheers.


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