TUMPAT – The government today announced the appointment of former chief justice Tun Zaki Tun Azmi to head an independent nine-member panel to review the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate’s standard operating procedure for public examinations.
Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Zaki had accepted the appointment following the decision made yesterday.
He also said that the names of the eight members of the panel, officially known as the independent panel to study the management of public examinations handled by the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate, would be announced tomorrow or the day after.
“We have provided the terms of reference to the panel,” he told reporters at the home of Mat Razi Mat Ail (rpt) Ail, the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Pengkalan Kubor state by-election, in Kampung Simpangan here.
The panel was appointed following a leak in the Science and English Language examination papers for this year’s Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) last week.
Following the leak, the government suspended the director of the syndicate, Dr Na’imah Ishak, and the deputy director (operations), Dr Wan Ilias Wan Salleh, until after the completion of the investigation.
The police also arrested four men, among them a headmaster and two teachers, to help in the probe.
Muhyiddin said the panel would be given three months to improve the operations of the syndicate and the handling of public examinations.
“The review involves verification of the examination papers, the security process and the SOP,” he said.
He also said that the panel could look at the best practices in other countries.
Accompanying Muhyiddin to Mat Razi’s home were Muhyiddin’s wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman and the BN director of the by-election, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
The by-election is a three-cornered contest among Mat Razi of the BN, Wan Rosdi Wan Ibrahim of PAS and independent Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary.
It is being held following the death of the three-term assemblyman, Datuk Noor Zahidi Omar of the BN, on Aug 20.
Noor Zahidi had retained the seat in the general election held last year with a majority of 1,736 votes, beating Saharun Ibrahim of PKR and Izat Bukhary.
PKR has allowed PAS to contest the seat in the by-election. Polling is on Sept 25. – BERNAMA