[INDONESIA-L] AL-GHOZIE USMAN – Soal Plagiarism Yahya Muhaimin di MIT
Date: Thu Mar 30 2000 – 15:43:36 EST
Date: 30 Mar 00 11:09:28 EST
From: Al-Ghozie Usman
Subject: Soal Plagiarism Yahya Muhaimin di MIT
seorang kawan mengirimkan hasil pelacakan terhadap tesis Yahya Muhaimin.
Ternyata memang ada memorandum dari para profesor di MIT tentang keabsahan
Sayang, Yahya tidak pernah memberi keterangan ttg hal ini. Mungkin dia kira,
diam akan menyelesaikan persoalan. Namun, seperti yang dicatat Andrew di bawah
ini, disertasi itu tetap akan ada di perpustakaan MIT sebagai disertasi
bermasalah. Menarik kan? Dan Yahya sekarang jadi Menteri Pendidikan.
Selamat mengikuti konrtoversi ini.
From: Drew Warsaw-Meyer (… email deleted)
Saya adalah researcher dalam bidang academic and intelectual life di
Southeast Asia. Saya tertarik dalam mengamati curriculum, teaching methods,
dan academic ethics. Country specialist saya adalah Indonesia. Saya bekerja
memperbandingkan kehidupan university di berbagai negara di Southeast Asia dan
mencoba mencari kaitan seberapa jauh academic environment berpengaruh dalam
kehidupan sosial di tiap negara, dan proses sebaliknya.
Saya membaca mass media yang diterbit di Indonesia dan mendapat banyak
informasi menarik dalam kaitan dengan pendidikan. Terakhir, saya mendapat
informasi sangat penting yang menyangkut pembatalan gelar Doktor Ipong Azhar
di University Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta. Pembatalan ini karena polemic tentang
illicit data yang merupakan plagiarism dari sebuah karya mahasiswa di
University Airlangga, Surabaya.
Saat saya berkesempatan mengunjungi Madison University, saya mendapatkan
satu buku dalam bahasa Indonesia yang terkarang atas nama Ismet Fanany. Buku
tersebut berjudul “Plagiat-Plagiat di MIT” dan diterbit oleh PT Masagung. Ini
buku menarik karena ada banyak sisi dari academic ethics yang cukup
controversial. Kasus yang serupa beberapa kali terjadi di Indonesia, terutama
di University Gadjah Mada. Paling tidak, saya amati, sudah dua kali terjadi
polemik plagiarism ini. Menariknya, academic advisor yang terlibat adalah
Prof. Afan Gaffar, seorang ilmuwan politik lulusan The Ohio State University.
Paling tidak, sebelumnya ada satu dosen di Surabaya dan satu di Hassanudin,
kabarnya juga melakukan plagiarism dan gelarnya dicabut. Semuanya dibawah
bimbingan Prof. Gaffar.
Buku Ismet Fanany menarik karena mengupas Thesis dari Yahya Muhaimin yang
dipresent di Dept. of Political Science, Massachusetts Instutite of Technology
(MIT). Fanany memperkirakan bahwa Yahya telah melakukan plagiarism atas
karya-karya beberapa ilmuwan terkenal seperti Richard Robison, yang juga
melakukan study yang sama dengan Yahya. Tuduhan Fanany memang sangat tajam
dalam dunia akademis, terutama dalam kehidupan akademis di U.S.
Terlepas dari controversy yang ditimbulkan oleh buku Fanany, saya meneliti
lagi tuduhan ini. Lewat seorang kenalan, saya mendapatkan thesis dari Yahya
Muhaimin di MIT. Perkembangan semakin menarik karena di dalam thesis tersebut
tercantum sebuah memorandum dari para committee professor di Dept. of
Political Science di MIT. Nama yang tercantum di dalam Memorandum itu adalah
professor terkenal, antara lain Barry Possen (ahli International Relations),
Myron Weiner (ahli Comparative Politics), dan Lucien Pye (ahli Southeast Asia
yang juga Yahya’s academic advisor). Mereka meneliti kembali Thesis Yahya
tersebut. Lebih menarik lagi, ternyata mereka menerapkan criterias yang sangat
lunak terhadap penilaian thesis Yahya. Criteria ini sangat lunak dan ringan
dalam kategori academics ethics di US, karena bahkan pharaphrasing sekalipun
tanpa menyebutkan proper sources akan menjadi kesalahan plagiarism.
Committee di MIT itu memang menemukan kejanggalan fatal dari thesis Yahya,
yakni ada interview yang sama tapi dengan tanggal berbeda dari Yahya dan
Robison. Committee meminta tanggapan dari Yahya sebelum mereka memutuskan
apakah Yahya melakukan plagiarism atau tidak.
Namun sayang, setelah itu saya tidak berhasil melacak tanggapan Yahya
terhadap memorandum Committee ini.
Saya ingin membagi keterangan ini dengan para pembaca mass media Indonesia.
Kasus Ipong menjadi kesempatan belajar bahwa academics ethic di Indonesia
memang memerlukan perbaikan. Para professor harus lebih teliti untuk tidak
mengulang kesalahan yang sama. Memang menarik bahwa dalam kasus Ipong, Prof.
Gaffar telah mengulangi tiga kali kesalahan. Ini mungkin bisa jadi perhatian.
Sekarang Prof. Yahya Muhaimin sudah menjadi seorang minister, kalau tidak
salah minister of education (Menteri Pengajaran?). Tentu saja, saya mengharap
supaya Prof. Yahya mau memberi keterangan atas memorandum ini. Saya berusaha
mengkomunikasikan problem ini dengan para profesor di MIT yang menulis
memorandum. Tetapi semua mereka sudah retired. Dept. of Political Science
tidak mau memberikan keterangan dimana mereka tinggal sekarang ini. Hukum di
U.S. memang melarang memberi keterangan tanpa ijin yang bersangkutan.
Saya attach file dokumen yang saya scanned dari dokumen asli. Saya juga
berikan dalam bentuk teks di bawah ini. Kalau Anda menghendaki yang asli, Anda
bisa akses di library MIT. Dokumen ini akan tertera selamanya di library.
Akibat masalah ini juga, thesis Dr. Yahya tidak bisa ditemukan di University
of Microfilm karena terkategori Thesis yang bermasalah.
Akhirnya, saya mohon maaf kalau bahasa Indonesia saya tidak bagus. Mungkin
akan ada salah pengertian. Mudah-mudahan tidak terjadi. Selain itu, saya
sangat berharap kalau kejujuran akademis dan intelektual di Indonesia bisa
meningkat di masa depan.
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
To: Richard J. Samuels
Re: Dissertation by Yahya Muhaimin
From: Barry Posen, Lucian Pye, Myron Weiner
Date: December 28,1992
In April we were appointed by Suzanne Berger to review the charges by a
Mr.Ismet Fanany, an Indonesian journalist based in the United States, alleging
extensive plagiarism in the 1992 dissertation presented by Yahya Muhaimin.
Mr. Fanany’s charges were made to the Dean of the Graduate School in a
letter dated February 25, 1992. Mr. Fanany enclosed a 39 page report
identifying sections of the dissertation drawn from the doctoral dissertation
of Richard Robison submitted to the University of Sydney, Australia in 1977,
and subsequently published in 1986 as a book entitled Indonesia: The Rise of
Capital. Frank Perkins. Dean of the Graduate School, acknowledged receipt of
Fanany’s letter on March 6th, informing him that the issues he raised would
receive careful consideration.
The charges of plagiarism were raised in the context of the political
excitement in Indonesia occasioned by the publication of Dr. Muhaimin’s thesis
which provided evidence that prominent Indonesians had corruptly benefited
from failed state policies. Because of the reactions of politically powerful
figures, the book was withdrawn by the publishers, and Professor Yahya
Muhaimin sought to make peace with those he had offended. The academic
establishment in Indonesia defended Professor Muhaimin.1
The charges of plagiarism appear designed to tarnish his academic reputation
and ruin his distinguished career. Professor Muhaimin is currently Assistant
Dean of the Faculty and Director of the Center for Japanese Studies at Gadjah
Mada University in Jogjakarta.
After some delay we were able to obtain a copy of Mr. Robison’s thesis so as
to examine Mr. Fanany’s accusations. Our findings are as follows:
1See enclosed material.
In reviewing the charges we found it useful to distinguish among three types
Case I. Instances in which the author cites the source but does not put the
materials in quotes when there have been little or no changes in wording.
Case 2. Instances in which the author cites an original source, but
seemslikely to have taken the material from a secondary source not cited.
Case 3. Instances in which significant materials are taken from a source
We compared Yahya Muhaimin’s dissertation with that of the dissertation by
Richard Robison as well as to the charges that Muhaimin took from other
as well. We note that Muhaimin liberally cites the Robison thesis, and that
had liberally used Robison’s words, not his ideas. We also note that the
thesis is heavily documented, averaging some 100 footnotes per chapter.
As to Mr. Fanany’s charges, we find as follows:
1. Muhaimin (pages 203-4), and Robison (page 100). In this discussion of
the textile industry Muhaimin cites Robison as a source but does not
that most of these two pages (including a quote taken from another author,
Palmer and Castles, who are cited) are drawn with little change in wording
from Robison. Falls under both Case 1 and 2.
2. Muhaimin (pages 252-2) and Robison (page 158). On these pages Muhaimin
provides a detailed description of a prominent banker as an example of the
former officials into business. The information and much of the language is
Robison, who is properly cited as the source. Probably falls under Case 1,
though there are some changes in language.
3. Muhaimin (page 280) and Robison (page 301). On this page Muhaimin
describes the way in which an Indonesian businessman acquired concessions
government officials. Robison is not cited as a source. An alternative
is provided for one sentence, but clearly the materials on this page (and
of the language) is from Robison. An example of Case 3.
4. Muhaimin (pages 198-199) and Robison (pages 91-92). These two pages,
including the heading (“Bureaucratic Patrons and Client Businessmen”) are
Robison. Muhaimin cites as his sources Panglaykim, and Castles, both of
cited by Robison. Muhaimin does not indicate that he probably took these
Robison. Materials from Panglaykim and Castles are in quotes, exactly as
found in Robison. An example of Case 2 and Case 3.
5. Muhaimin (pages 259-260) and Robison (page 160). These pages provide a
detailed description of an Indonesian businessman. Muhaimin cites as his
source interviews that appeared in two Indonesian journals, and an
that he conducted in September 1980. Robison is not cited. While there is
some overlap in information, Muhaimin provides a far more detailed
than is provided by Robison. Does not appear to fall under any of our
6. Muhaimin (pages 61-62) and Robison (pages 118-120). These two pages,
largely a discussion of an Indonesian economist’s views of Boeke’s theory
dualistic economies as applied to Indonesia, are taken almost entirely from
Robison without citation. An example of Case 3.
7. Muhaimin (page 285) and Robison (pages 332-333). This discussion of a
businessman’s political associations overlaps slightly with Robison (in one
paragraph), but provides far more detail than does Robison, with a detailed
footnote as to the Indonesian sources. Does not appear to fall under any of
8. Muhaimin (pages 293-294, footnote 2) and Robison (page 152, footnote 3).
this footnote Muhaimin reports from interviews he purportedly conducted
an Indonesian businessman (we are given a pseudonym) from June through
1980, but the entire footnote is taken from Robison. A serious instance of
We turn now to the other purported instances of plagiarism involving
other than Robison. We checked to see whether Muhaimin cited appropriate
9. Muhaimin (pages 124-125), and Castles (page 35). This discussion of the
ways in which government extracted funds from private enterprises
uses the information and some of the language from Castles. Where he uses
almost the same language as Castles he cites Castles although several
sentences appear to have been taken directly from Castles without a
other sentences cite other articles, cited by Castles. An example of Case 1
and Case 2.
10. Muhaimin (page 101) and Glassbumer (page 89). Muhaimin paraphrases and
cites Bank Indonesia and Glassburner at the end of the paragraph.
11. Muhaimin (page 118) and Panglaykim (page 49). Muhaimin paraphrases and
sometimes uses the same language, but cites Panglaykim at the end of the
12. Muhaimin (page 113) and Gibson (page 52). In this paragraph Muhaimin
paraphrases and cites Gibson.
13. Muhaimin (page 34 and 35) and Sutler (page 775). In these two
Muhaimin paraphrases and cites Sutter twice, at the end of each paragraph.
sentences closely follow Sutter.
14. Muhaimin (page 189, and footnote 23 on page 235) and Sutter (pages
1049-1050). Some facts in th text are the same as Sutler’s without a
but the financial details provided in the footnote are attributed to
Summary and Analysis
In all Mr. Fanany found 14 purported instances of plagiarism. (The number
appears to be greater since Mr. Fanany disassembles paragraphs into their
individual sentences, citing each sentence as an instance of plagiarism.)
total approximately 3200 words, or about 13 pages of the 379-page
dissertation. The 14 instances can be categorized as follows:
Case 1. Muhaimin closely uses and sometimes copies the language of another
source, but gives a proper citation as to source without using quotation
marks. Items 1, 2, 9.
Case 2. Muhaimin draws materials from another source, but cites an original
source rather than the secondary sources from which he apparently took the
material. Items 1, 4, 9.
Case 3. Muhaimin uses the language of another source, but gives no
claiming the material as his own. Items 3, 4, 6, 8.
Items 10 through 14 above were judged to be proper citations of properly
paraphrased material. Items 5 and 7 were judged instances where minor
materials were used without citation, and thus not worrisome.
Of these instances. Case 1 can be regarded as inappropriate: Case 2 is
incorrect though often done by scholars; and Case 3 is plagiarism. Item 8
serious since Muhaimin reports as his own an interview which seemingly was
conducted by another scholar. The two pages cited in Item 6 also seem to be
case of plagiarism, as may be Items 3 and 4.
We then compared other sections of Muhaimin and Robison’s dissertations to
if there were instances of more borrowings that were not cited by Mr.
comparison was not exhaustive or particularly systematic. Nevertheless, we
other questionable instances. We did not check to see if there might have
borrowings from the other source material cited by Mr. Fanany.
Muhaimin, p. 245 vs. Robison. p. 57. Muhaimin draws his argument about the
linkage between Asli businessmen and the bureaucracy from Robison, using
the same language. There is one sentence that should have been in quotes
footnoted. An example of Case 3.
Muhaimin, p. 254 vs. Robison, p. 60. Muhaimin discusses the establishment
Bank Umum Nasional, with considerable details on its financial structure,
these are two sentences drawn from Robison, but citing instead the 1955
by John Sutter. An
example of Case 2.
Muhaimin. p. 255 vs. Robison, p. 62. The paragraph is, word for word, from
Robison, but Muhaimin cites a Comell thesis by Eliseo Rocamora, without
sources to Robison. The Rocamora thesis is not listed in Muhaimin’s
example of Case 2 and Case 3.
Muhaimin, p. 208, an introductory discussion of the economic consequences
the transfer of political power to the military is taken from Robison, p.
without citation. An example of Case 2 and Case 3.
Muhaimin’s chapter 5 shares with Robison’s chapter 7 the argument that Asli
businessmen had privileged access to the bureaucracy, but the case examples
Prior to receiving the letter from Mr. Fanany, the Dean. Lucian Pye and
Weiner received a letter from Mr. H. Aminuddin. an Indonesian businessman
objection to Yahya Muhaimin’s statements concerning his connections with
government of Indonesia. These appear on page 275 of Muhaimin’s
Some of this material is drawn from Robison (who reportedly interviewed
Aminuddin), but is fully cited by Muhaimin. Muhaimin also cites interviews
conducted with an official, colleague and relative, all of whom
(understandably) preferred to remain anonymous.
Finally, we considered the question of whether the overall argument by
Muhaimin is derivative. Yahya Muhaimin’s thesis deals with the development
the indigenous (Asli) class of Indonesian entrepreneurs in the
post-independence period, and how they developed within a clientalistic
framework in which access to government became the key to financial success.
He is particularly concerned with the ways in which cultural factors play a
role in creating a business class that is dependent upon the state. While
Muhaimin is concerned
with how dependence by entrepreneurs upon the state operates, Robison is
concerned with the development of state bureaucratic capitalism within a
characterized by “feudal modes of production” in the “world capitalist
system.” There are some similarities in their use of materials – since both
deal with the development of
indigenous entrepreneurship but their approaches and explanations are quite
The Evidence and MIT Norms
The MIT “Report of the Committee on Academic Responsibility” (April 15,
recommends that “We define research misconduct as fabrication,
and plagiarism in proposing, conducting or reporting research or other
scholarly activities” (p. 1; see also p. 3. Recommendation 6, and p. 8).
report elaborates. “Fabrication is presenting fictitious data or results:
falsification is altering data or results including selective omission of
without scientific or scholarly justifications: and plagiarism is using the
words or ideas of others without acknowledgement” (p. 7).
In general the review committee would be loath to define occasional “Case
instances as plagiarism. Occasional failure to place properly footnoted
quotation marks is sloppy. If it were a constant problem, it would be
worrisome. But we do not detect this.
Instances of Case 2, where footnotes of a secondary source are in effect
could qualify as plagiarism. It borrows another’s work (although perhaps
words or ideas) and presents it in a way that suggests that the accused did
the work. It is a questionable academic practice; the correct practice
be to give the original source and then add. “As cited in…” The
transgression is often difficult to judge. First, one cannot always tell
the text whether a cited source was simply lifted from a secondary source
bad practice) or discovered in the secondary source, read, and then
Second, even where the source was simply lifted from the secondary source,
may simply be to footnote a piece of information from a widely available
document in the public record.
Most scholars would of necessity use the same source. Sometimes, however,
context of the cite, the use of the cite by the secondary source, and/or
absence of the footnoted original source from the bibliography (as in one
Muhaimin’s cases) makes one suspect that misconduct has occurred. The
instances of Case 2 identified above constitute bad scholarship and
Finally, all Case 3 instances suggest plagiarism. And, in Item 8 above.
appears to have claimed credit for an interview done by another, changed
of the details of the interview subject, and failed to footnote the
source at all. This would appear to be a case of falsification,
It is necessary to put these instances of misconduct in some kind of
First, we do not believe that the major arguments of Muhaimin are lifted
alleged by the accuser. Professors Pye and Weiner were on the original
and they are firmly convinced of this. Professor Posen does not question
Second, Muhaimin regularly footnotes elsewhere in the document Robison and
sources that he seems to have improperly exploited in the instances noted
above. Thus, one suspects that in many of these cases sloppiness rather
malign intent could be the explanation.
The issue that emerges as most questionable is Item 8, where no plausible
obvious other than deliberate deception.
Naturally, we await Mr. Muhaimin’s explanations for all of these issues
final conclusion. And if he cannot himself explain these instances, we
must decide the “magnitude” of the misconduct in order to judge how to
We recommend that a copy of this memo be sent to Yahya Muhaimin to enable
to reply to our assessment. After reviewing Muhaimin’s response, we should
then consider what action should be taken. In the meantime it would be
to obtain from the Dean of the Graduate School any appropriate guidelines
to what our options are. In his letter to Suzanne on March 6, Dean Perkins
asked that he be kept informed of the deliberations and conclusions of our
review. A copy of this report should be sent to him.
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