Someone has to be held accountable for UPSR exam paper leak, but who?


If there were no problems in the chain of custody, how would there have been leaks in the first place?

Sonia Ramachandran, The Ant Daily

When public examination papers are leaked, students suffer and the blame game starts.

Who are the ones who should actually be taking responsibility?

Wouldn’t it logically be those who are entrusted with the care and custody of the examination papers?

That does not seem to be the case with last year’s Primary School Evaluation Test (UPSR) imbroglio which affected close to half-a-million students.

The two Malaysian Examinations Board (LP) heads who were in the limelight during the whole fiasco last year have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

On Jan 27, Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh reportedly said former board director Dr Na’imah Ishak and former deputy director of operations Dr Wan Ilias Wan Salleh who were “suspended” over the UPSR leaks are now in the clear.

There are a few things that are confusing here.

First, the fact that these two officers were indeed actually “suspended” is doubtful.

This is why.

On Sept 12, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin  had reportedly announced the suspension of Na’imah and Wan Ilias “with immediate effect”, saying both officials should be held responsible for tarnishing the image of the ministry and that of public examinations.

From left: Na'imah and Wan Ilias

“Dr Na’imah has to be responsible because the UPSR leaks have compromised the integrity of public examinations and the ministry,” Muhyiddin was quoted as saying in a tweet by Bernama on the same day.

On Sept 20, Education Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad clarified that Na’imah and Wan Ilias had only been reassigned and not suspended from duty, as “they are not being punished”.

“They have not been suspended. They have been assigned other duties unrelated to the Examinations Board to enable the independent committee to carry out its investigations,” Madinah was quoted as saying.

But on Jan 27, Idris was quoted as saying the “suspended” duo are now in the clear and are still in service but no longer in their previous portfolios.