KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told parents unhappy with the UPSR examination paper leaks that he, too, was disappointed with the situation, as his 12-year-old granddaughter was expected to resit the examination. “My own granddaughter is taking the UPSR. She is the first grandchild, the eldest, her name is Suraya. She was crying, asking me why this happened and I had to calm her down,” he told a press conference in Tumpat today. “Yesterday, I received a message from her on WhatsApp, she asked me how I was.” Muhyiddin said he had asked her if she was all right, to which she replied, “I’m okay”.
The deputy prime minister, who is also education minister, urged parents of affected children to comfort them, adding that at such a young age, they would not be able to go through such a situation alone. ”Twelve-year-olds are like that. If they were adults, they can manage it alone. But now they are like this.” Yesterday, fuming parents told The Malaysian Insider that the leaks had left their children discouraged as they had been looking forward to finishing their exams following a year of studying. Family plans and holidays have been cancelled, they said, after the Education Ministry decided to postpone the Science paper and allow the majority of nearly 500,000 pupils to retake two English papers.
The Science paper, which they were supposed to have taken on Thursday, was postponed to September 30 after the questions were circulated online. The Education Ministry announced the same day that the English paper had also been compromised and would have to be retaken. Muhyiddin said today he would propose to the examination board that the two papers be taken on September 30. “We have leads now and with the cooperation of the Cyber Security (Malaysia) we have been able to identify a few names that are said to have leaked the exam papers,” he added.
“I have also discussed with Datuk Idris (Jusoh) on the formation of an independent committee to evaluate proposals on how the examination board can improve their work.” But he added that even if all system operating procedure was in place, “anything could happen” if someone chose to betray the trust given to them. “This is not the first time (the UPSR exams are being carried out), we have been doing this for decades. So why did this happen now? Because there are irresponsible quarters.” When asked if the culprit may have been from inside the ministry, Muhyiddin said he did not know. ”I do not know. I don’t want to make some allegations. Let them investigate.” Yesterday, Bernama reported that Putrajaya has suspended two examinations syndicate officers over the leaks, director Dr Nai’imah Ishak and deputy director of operations Dr Wan Ilias Wan Salleh, with immediate effect.