KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today called the leaks of the UPSR examination papers “shameful”, saying that the incident is not acceptable, as education in Malaysia has been recognised as one of the best in the world. “It is an embarrassing incident. It still happened even after we have established one of the best education ministries in the world,” the Education Minister said in his speech at the National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) tri-annual delegates’ conference in Genting Highlands today. The Education Ministry announced last week that Year 6 pupils would have to resit their UPSR English and Science papers on September 30 following leaks.
Muhyiddin and Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh had apologised to parents and pupils affected by the leaks, while opposition lawmakers are demanding that heads must roll over such serious breaches. On Friday, Muhyiddin ordered the immediate suspension of Examinations Syndicate director Dr Na’imah Ishak and her deputy (operations) Dr Wan Ilias Wan Salleh. Four men, comprising a primary school headmaster, two teachers and an insurance agent, are currently in police custody and being investigated under the Official Secrets Act in connection with the leaks.
Two others, both teachers, were also arrested yesterday but were released on police bail last night after giving their statements. Muhyiddin said it was time Malaysian society changed the way examinations were viewed. “A new culture has to be established, one where society is not so worked up about answering exam questions that the easy way out is taken.” “This is among some of the issues being discussed by the independent committee set up to review the UPSR exam papers standard operating procedure.” Following the embarrassing leaks last week, the Education Ministry today set up an independent committee to improve operating procedures when conducting national examinations. It will also study ways to enhance the integrity of examination syndicate officers to ensure they continue to be respected.