TWO senior politicians have raised questions over Attorney-General Tommy Thomas’s (pix) announcement that Unified Examination Certificate holders will now be allowed to sit for the Certificate in Legal Practice Examination (CLPE).
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) Negri Sembilan liaison chief Tan Sri Rais Yatim described it as a unilateral decision taken before the Education Ministry could decide on the UEC, China Press reported today.
Last Friday, Tommy, who is also Legal Profession Qualifying Board chairman, in a statement said that UEC holders can sit for the CLPE provided that they have passes in at least two subjects at the Senior Middle Three level as well as a minimum of five credits at the SPM, O-Level or the equivalent.
He said the board came to this decision after conducting a review exercise, which included obtaining information from several universities in the UK and Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees Association) on the standard of UEC qualification and its acceptance into university degree programmes.
Rais said in a social media post on Monday that Tommy should have given the government more time to come to a final decision on the issue of UEC recognition.
Otherwise, it would appear that the attorney-general is dabbing in politics and that he is more powerful than Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching because he announced recognition for UEC instead of the latter, he said.
Rais felt it did not bode well for the Attorney-General’s Chambers to get involved in politics, adding that it should wait for the government’s announcement regarding UEC, after the Education Ministry concludes its study and the Cabinet deliberated on the study’s findings.
Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa asked in a tweet on Monday how the attorney-general could have superseded the government on the issue of UEC recognition.
“Isn’t the AG part of the Executive branch of the government and answerable to the Cabinet?” he asked.
He also wondered why the prime minister and the Cabinet were mum on such an important decision.