New Attorney-General Gani Patail should explain whether the multi-layered CLP scandals have joined the long list of  “heinous crimes without criminals” in Malaysia  without anyone being prosecuted despite completion of police investigations

Media  Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday)The new Attorney-General Datuk Abdul Gani Patail should explain whether the multi-layered Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) scandals have joined the long list of “heinous crimes without criminals” in Malaysia  without anyone being prosecuted despite the completion of police investigations.

The belated  suspension and arrest of the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) examinations director, Khalid Yusof in early December did not convince the Malaysian public that the authorities are serious in dealing with the multi-layered CLP scandals and such skepticism seems justified by the total lack of follow-up action in the field of prosecution in the past month.

As at stake is not just the question of justice for the CLP students, whether those who had been failed when they should have passed or passed when they  should have failed, but the very integrity of the legal and judicial professions, the administration of justice and the reputation of the professional examinations, it is most disappointing that the authorities had failed to act in a manner to secure public confidence in their competence, impartiality and professionalism.

The double CLP scandals 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  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!

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim indicated yesterday that a major revamp or even scrapping of the CLP is in the works, and that his Legal Division in the Prime Minister’s Department is organising a workshop specifically on the subject in Putrajaya on January 15, and that it would be attended by  representatives from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, public universities, Bar Council and law students.

He said the workshop would look into the relevance of the CLP system, its legal standing, syllabus and format, and even whether it should be abolished. A report will be presented to him after the workshop, from which he will prepare a Cabinet paper for discussion by the Government.

However, Rais is shirking his responsiblility as the de facto Law Minister in continuing to maintain a loud  silence on  the outcome of investigations by the various authorities into the multi-layered CLP scandals.

Rais should provide the leadership in his bailiwick of responsibility by  putting  an end to the deplorable lack of seriousness and  sense of urgency by the various authorities to account  to the Malaysian public on  the multi-layered CLP scandals.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman