Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Faux pax, Legal Qualifying Board!

Taken from The Star, July 25 2007
Ex-CLP exam director guilty

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) examination director Khalid Yusoff was found guilty yesterday by a Sessions Court here of forgery and cheating in the July 2001 examination “masterlist”.

Judge Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal, who ruled that the prosecution had succeeded in proving the case beyond reasonable doubt, said Khalid was solely motivated to increase the passing rate of the CLP examination.

“The accused has no lawful authority to upgrade the marks as he did. I find the explanation given by the accused quite bizarre and mind-boggling,” remarked the judge, who fixed sentencing for Monday.

Upon hearing the verdict, Khalid, 56, hugged his lead counsel Jagjit Singh who had to console him. His wife and children broke down in court.

Khalid was alleged to have forged the CLP examination masterlist with the intention of using it for cheating at the Malaysian Legal Profession Qualifying Board’s office on the 27th floor of Menara Tun Razak between August 2001 and Sept 13 that year.

He faces a maximum jail term of seven years and a fine for the charge under Section 468 of the Penal Code.

In discussion: Khalid (centre) talking with his lawyers Jagjit Singh (right) and Akbardin Abd Kadir (left) while leaving the Sessions Court premises in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He is also alleged to have cheated the board by deceiving it into believing that the July 2001 CLP examination results reflected the actual marks given by the examiners and inducing it into endorsing the masterlist at the same place on Sept 13 that year.

He faces a maximum five years in jail or fine, or both, under Section 417 of the Penal Code for this charge.

The judge said a perusal of the witness statement of the late board chairman Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah revealed that Mohtar did not say that the marks could be increased to maintain passing rate of 30%.

He said Mohtar, who was then the Attorney-General, had said in his statement that any matter outside the professional duties of Khalid including the bumiputra quota should be referred to the qualifying board.

The judge found that Khalid did not refer the matter to the qualifying board.

He said Khalid had testified that the criteria used to upgrade the marks were called “moderation” and that it was an accepted process, legal and part of his professional duty as stated in his contract of employment.

“The existence of a review committee cannot absolve the accused because they are not like the qualifying board members,” the judge said, adding that the function of the review committee was to reflect an acceptable passing rate of between 30% and 35%.

“But the evidence shows that the passing rate for the July 2001 examination was very low, only 12%. After review, the passing percentage was raised to 25%.

“Although the accused claimed that he applied several criteria to upgrade the marks, I feel it is a means to an end. The objective was just to pass the candidates,” he said.

The judge said Khalid knew very well that there was a new CLP board meeting on Sept 13 but the accused had remained silent when queried by board member High Court judge Abdul Wahab Patail on how the exam results were evaluated.

Khalid is out on bail pending sentencing.

Monster says: So after YEARS of denying the existence of a racial quota for the CLP exams, what the hell was that reference to the bumi quota in the report? And having it referred to the Qualifying Board only shows that discrimination in the legal profession is institutionalised.

1 comment:

Dilvin said...

Welcome to the ugly malaysia!