UM Lodges Police Report Against Yemeni PhD Student Who Claimed His Research Was Stolen

The international student claims to have worked on the project for two and a half years before his supervisors stole the data to use for their own benefit.

Cover image via @mvrasmi (TikTok) & Bernama

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Universiti Malaya (UM) has lodged a police report against a PhD student from Yemen after he accused in a now viral video that his research project was stolen by his supervisors at the university

In a statement yesterday, 29 August, UM's corporate communications office denied the incident, saying that it is the university's policy that research results and scientific results become its property, reported New Straits Times.

The PhD candidate, known as 34-year-old Abbod Ali Mohammed Saeed, claimed that two of his supervisors had used his project materials for their own benefit.

In a TikTok video posted on Sunday, 28 August, Abbod explained that he filed a police report against UM after discovering his login details for his research had been changed, so he was no longer able to access his project files.

When he asked his supervisors, they allegedly said the research belonged to the university.

"Since that day, the behaviour, the treatment (of the supervisors) had totally changed. I was treated aggressively, humiliated, so they thought I would be disappointed," he said in the video.


Pelajar PhD dari Yemen mendakwa idea dan data kajiannya dicuri Universiti Malaya. Bukan dia sahaja malah ramai pelajar Malaysia menanggung nasib yang sama! #UM #phd #malaysia #berita

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The media student also claimed that he was not the only student who has encountered this issue and that many local students have also gone through the same process, only to quit after three or four years

In the video, Abbod expressed his disappointment over the issue, as he had put two and a half years of work into the research. He added that it was the supervisors' intentions from the beginning, calling the behaviour "unethical" and "unprofessional".

UM, on the other hand, said the PhD candidate had been unable to complete his studies, despite being given the resources and a three-semester deadline extension. According to Free Malaysia Today, the university said the maximum deadline for students' projects is 12 semesters and it comes with fees sponsored by the faculty.

"The university also held several counselling sessions and appointed additional supervisors to assist him," read the statement.

The university will also be reviewing appropriate legal action against the international student.

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