Committee steps up to protect exam integrity

Committee steps up to protect exam integrity
Zaki (centre, seated) with panel members (from left to right) K. Kumaran, Lok, Mohd Tap, Dr Amirudin, Dr Asariah, Johari and Mohamed Sharil at the MOE office in Putrajaya.

PUTRAJAYA - The independent committee to review standard operating procedures for public examinations has promised stern action against those who compromise the integrity of the examinations.

"Let it be a warning to those who handle the 2014 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exam papers," said Tun Zaki Azmi, who heads the committee.

"How many were arrested for Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR)? Before this, nobody was arrested but this time, how many have been arrested?"

Speaking to reporters after the committee's first meeting, Zaki warned that reproducing the examination questions itself was an offence under the Official Secrets Act.

"It doesn't matter where you get it from. Every time you publish that question, you are committing an offence," he said, adding that distributing the questions via messaging platforms was also illegal.

Zaki, who is a former Chief Justice, said the panel's first meeting was to brief members on the preparation of public examination questions and their distribution to schools and examination centres.

"Once we understand the weaknesses, then we can make suggestions," he said.

Zaki added that the public could voice their views and suggestions through the Examinations Syndicate's website at www.moe.gov.my/lp.

Zaki said the committee had decided to meet twice a week and was confident that the members could carry out their task.

The committee comprises Malaysian Institute of Integrity president Datuk Dr Mohd Tap Salleh, former education deputy director-general (teaching professionalism development sector) Datuk Dr Asariah Mior Shaha­ruddin, former Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Sharifah Hap­sah Syed Hasan Shahabudin, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Mohamed Tarmizi, Chief Government Security Office director-general Datuk Johari Jamaluddin, CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab, former Rural and Regional Development deputy minister Tan Sri K. Kumaran and Cuepacs secretary-general and National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng.

Prof Sharifah Hapsah was not present because she is currently overseas.

On Sept 15, Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh announced the formation of the nine-member committee.

Police have recorded statements from 30 people. On Monday, all of the 14 people detained - 12 teachers, an insurance agent and an engineer - were released on police bail.

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