On 29th October, 2001, when Malay Mail performed a national service with its journalistic coup in its expose of the CLP examination papers-for-sale scam, I had called for a complete revamp of the CLP to ensure that there could be no whiff of suspicion about the rectitude and integrity of the CLP system - and such a revamp must not only be done but seen to be done!
I had pointed out at the time that there had been talk for some years of the scandal of CLP examination papers leaks and that it casts a most adverse reflection on the authorities responsible for the conduct of the CLP examination that it had not acted diligently to safeguard the integrity, reputation and credibility of the CLP despite these widespread rumours - until it has to be exposed by Malay Mail.
Now, the Legal Profession Qualifying Board has nullified not only the results of the CLP October supplementary examination but also the July main examination, on the ground that the Board had been alerted of “a possible leak” in the July examination.
As there had been possible leaks in the CLP examinations in the past several years, is the Qualifying Board proposing next to nullify all the past CLP results going back to the nineties?
As the Qualifying Board proclaims that “it cannot accept any compromise on maters that touch upon the integrity, credibility and reputation of the examinations”, is it going to nullify the CLP examinations in the nineties where there were such “possible leaks”?
Furthermore, are all the Qualifying Board members going to resign en masse to show their seriousness about restoring public confidence in its integrity, credibility and reputation?
It would undoubtedly be a gross and manifest injustice to nullify the past CLP examinations in the nineties although there were “possible leaks” in those years. Similarly, it is most unjust and unfair to the innocent, honest and hardworking candidates to nullify the results of the CLP July and October examinations this year. Punish the culprits and do not penalise the innocent should be the guiding principle of the Qualifying Board.
The Qualifying Board members should not give the public the impression that they had decided on such harsh “overkill” measures to penalise even the innocent, honest and hardworking candidates in order to completely deflect public attention and even exculpate themselves from the negligence and failure to safeguard the integrity, reputation and credibility of the CLP examination.
The Qualifying Board should work closely with the police to bring to justice those in the Board and the candidates involved in the CLP examination leaks, but it should ensure that its action is not an “overkill” to indiscriminately penalise the innocent, honest and hard-working candidates to exonerate themselves of all responsibilities for the scandal.
For a start, the Qualifying Board should rescind its decision to nullify the CLP July main examination and October supplementary examination - and if it is not prepared to do so, Parliament must adopt a motion to intervene and ensure that justice is done to the innocent, honest and hardworking students.