KUALA LUMPUR – Quick action on the part of the authorities in investigating the leaks in the Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR)’s Science and English examination papers, and arresting those suspected to have been responsible, reflects the government’s transparency and sincerity.
It also shows the government’s will in tracking down the culprits and sending a clear message that it would not hesitate to take appropriate action against the guilty parties.
President of the Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the actions were appropriate.
“This is proof that the government is not “selective” in taking action and investigating anyone who is involved.
“A heavy penalty must be imposed on the guilty parties to prevent a repeat of the incident in the future,” she said when contacted by Bernama today.
On Sunday, police detained two individuals – a teacher and an insurance agent – in raids in Kuala Ketil, Kedah and Sentul here in connection with the case, after four teachers – three men and a woman – were detained in raids in Penang and Perak on Saturday.
In a statement issued here Monday, Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department Chief SAC Gan Kong Meng said those detained were a male teacher, 37, and a male insurance agent, 31.
He said this meant six people had been arrested in connection with the case, although two had since been released on police bail and the rest remanded until Thursday.
Noor Azimah however said the public should refrain from pointing an accusing finger at teachers because there were others who had access to the exam papers.
Following the leaks, the English 014/1 and 014/2 papers were cancelled after students had sat for the exam on Thursday while the Science 018, 028 and 038 papers were also postponed before the students sat for them, also on Thursday.
The Examination Syndicate (LPM) has fixed Sept 30 as the new date for both these papers.
Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had since announced that LPM’s director Dr Na’imah Ishak and its deputy director of Operations Dr Wan Ilias Wan Salleh had been suspended from their duties with immediate effect until the investigations into the leaks are finalised.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Umno Youth’s Education Bureau, Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen praised the quick action of the authorities and the Education Ministry in handling the incident.
“I see this as a brave act on the part of the DPM as Education Minister, including apologising to the parents and the people, which shows a sense of responsibility and not passing the buck,” he said.
Mohd Rafiq suggested that in the future, there should be a contingency plan with a set of back-up questions in case similar incidents like this happened.
He said this would ensure there were no postponements of the examinations which could affect the students’ emotional state.
“There should be a mechanism and improvement in the Standard Operating Procedure so that it (the incident) is not repeated, especially in the effort to make Malaysia an international educational hub,” he said.
Civics teacher in the Sekolah Menengah Peh Hwa, Muar, Johor, Zainab Tukinon, 44, said stern action by the Government in not protecting anyone in the teaching profession showed that under Muhyiddin, everything was transparent.
“UPSR may be a simple examination, but it has compromised the integrity of the teaching profession. This is a lesson for all teachers who betray the trust given to them by the parents.
He said the punishment imposed on those found guilty would be a lesson to all those involved as well as to society. – Bernama