The handling of the multi-layered CLP scandals in the past month by the Qualifying Board, the police and other authorities is itself a great scandal

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): The suspension and arrest of the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) examinations director, Khalid Yusof should have been greeted with approbation and relief as evidence of the seriousness of the authorities to deal with the multi-layered CLP scandals, but it was received with feelings akin to disgust as actions long overdue and forced out of the authorities.

The police failure yesterday to obtain a week-long remand order against Khalid by magistrate Wan Azizol Ahmad, leading to Khalid's release on police bail, was as the latest in a catalogue of wrong-footing by the authorities in the mishandling of the  multi-layered CLP scandals and has deepened public cynicism that the whole sordid tale of the multi-layered CLP scandals going back to  the past few years could be fully unearthed and exposed.

Star legal correspondent Shaila Koshy was not being facetious when she posed two future scenarios:

What is the future of the integrity of the legal and judicial professions, the administration of justice and the reputation of the professional examinations when the authorities cannot convince Malaysians and the world that they would be so thorough in their responses to the multi-layered CLP scandals of the past few years that the two horrendous scenarios painted by Shaila Koshy could be dismissed as pure figments of the imagination?

The handling of the multi-layered CLP scandals in the past month by the the Qualifying Board, the police  and other authorities were as scandalous as the original CLP examination scandals, and some of the most glaring examples are:

The double CLP scandal of examination paper leaks and “marks-tampering” have  cast a pall and stigma on the entire CLP examinations of recent years, raising the disturbing question of  the country “infested with” unqualified and dishonest  lawyers who illegally passed the CLP and who  could go on to become, one day, the Bar Council Chairman or a Federal Court judge!

There is no option for the Cabinet at its meeting on Wednesday, unless it wants to shirk its public duty, but to institute a Royal Commission of Inquiry “to investigate into the root causes and propose solutions to the CLP examination scandals” to salvage the  reputation of the  legal profession, the good name of the judiciary and the integrity of professional examinations in the country.

The public Royal Commission of Inquiry should summon all past members of the Qualifying Board, and in particular the Board Chairman during the most important period of the CLP scandals in the immediate past few years, the former Attorney-General and now Federal Court judge, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah, to help reveal the magnitude and extent of the multi-layered CLP examinations.

On Monday, the police announced that it had completed and forwarded  investigations into the leak of the Certificate in Legal Practice examination papers to the Attorney-General's Chambers and the  police were awaiting a decision from the Chambers.

It is shocking that the Attorney-General's Chambers is still sitting on the police investigation papers without any sense of urgency. It is clearly not possible for Datuk Seri Ainum Saaid to decide as Attorney-General on the police investigations papers as there would be a conflict of interest in view of her position as Chairman of the Qualifying Board.

The Solicitor-General, Datuk Helilah Mohamad Yusof and the Head of the Prosecution Division, Datuk Abdul Gani Patail should explain why they are sitting on a case of such pressing public interest and importance - which will be another scandalous episode in the multi-layered CLP scandals!


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman