CLP candidates relieved as A-G intervenes in exam format wrangle
Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Star
by Martin Carvalho

PETALING JAYA: More than 1,000 law graduates can heave a sigh of relief following a decision to scrap a last-minute change in the question format for the crucial Certificate of Legal Practice (CLP) examination this August.

As promised, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali looked into the complaint by the candidates and intervened to resolve the matter.

“I was just trying to help change the mindset ... we are supposed to facilitate things for the students,” he told The Star yesterday, responding to the announcement by the Legal Profession Qualifying Board on Wednesday that it would revert to the original format for the Criminal Procedure paper.

The Star highlighted the issue on June 15, when CLP candidates voiced their dissatisfaction over the board’s six-month delay in announcing the format change on its portal, just two months before the examination.

The new format required candidates to answer one mandatory question and three others out of seven questions under the Criminal Procedure paper.

Under the original format, candidates could answer any four out of seven questions for the paper.

Besides the Criminal Procedure paper, candidates will also sit for the Civil Procedure, General Paper, Professional Practice, and Evidence papers.

A 26-year-old candidate, who wished to be known only as Christine, said she was relieved at the board’s decision, adding that the A-G’s intervention was timely.

“It is a load off my heart as I was going to go through the Criminal Paper again after my general revision.

“Now I can use the time to look at the other papers too,” said Christine, who is making her second attempt at the CLP.

Candice, a 25-year-old candidate, said the earlier notice of the format change “had caused me a lot of worry. I am so happy and want to thank the A-G for looking into our plight”.

Brickfields Asia College managing director and senior lecturer Raja Singham lauded the A-G’s intervention as it had brought relief to those taking the examination.

“It is good that the A-G reacted and rectified what would have been an injustice to the candidates,” he said, adding that Apandi should look at appointing the right people to manage the board.

Senior lawyer Datuk Roger Tan also lauded the reversal to the old format.

“It is obvious that the board recognises that reasonable notice is required before any major change is effected.

“It also shows that the board members commiserate with the plight of these exam-stressed students,” he added.

Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu, an adjunct professor with a private college in Kuala Lumpur, said the board should engage stakeholders in the future before deciding to make changes.