Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Resign to preserve standing, integrity of legal system

New Straits Times
Roger Tan

Board must take blame

The manner in which the recent problem surrounding the leaks of CLP examination questions was handled is another sad example of how we deal with such a situation - the victims are punished while the decision-makers go scot-free.

In this fiasco, the officers of the Legal Profession Qualifying Board should also accept their responsibility. When a drastic measure such as nullifying the examination results is not followed by any acceptance of responsibility by the board or its officers, the innocent will feel aggrieved.

If the decision had been followed by the resignation or removal of the director of CLP or others directly responsible for the printing and safe custody of examination papers, this may look more palatable. But, alas, this is not the case.

In my opinion, a better decision would have been only for those who have passed to resit the papers they have passed. Those who have failed should be excluded .

I am writing this partly because I commiserate with my chambering student who has returned to her books once again. To have to resit will not save the integrity of the CLP examinations.

Further, it is unfair to maintain such a low passing rate when graduates from local universities are not required to sit the CLP examinations. Perhaps, the time has come for the CLP examinations to be made mandatory for all law graduates just like the Practice Law Course in Singapore.

There must be equality of treatment so that these graduates are not treated differently from the local graduates.

I hope that the board will reconsider and temper justice with mercy. If, by trying to uphold the integrity of the CLP examinations, we demolish a person’s dignity or cause loss of a life or a person’s sanity or a miscarriage for that matter, I think we have committed a greater injustice by our zeal to uphold an already tarnished image.

Roger Tan
Kuala Lumpur

Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Tan’s kin remain hopeful

The Star
By Mazwin Nik Anis

Quiet CNY for family of missing patriarch
JOHOR BARU: Nothing can be sweeter for the Tan family come Chinese New Year than having their patriarch who has been missing for eight months back home.

Tan Sue Yong, 84, has been missing since May 23.

His family spared no efforts in their extensive search for him, including putting up missing persons advertisements in English, Malays and Chinese newspapers but to no avail.

Tan who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, left his home in Lorong Enam, Yong Peng, for his daily walk on that day but failed to return. This is the second time Tan had gone missing. In 1998, he took off on his old motorcycle and was found two days later in Malacca.

Tan was wearing a straw hat, short-sleeved white shirt with stripes and brown trousers when he left. He also carried his identification papers with him.

His son Roger said his family was still hopeful that their father would return home.

Tan’s 76-year-old wife, Swee Mei, still harboured hopes that he would one day show up at their doorstep.

“This is the first time we are celebrating Chinese New Year without him and it will be a small affair for the family.”

Roger said that since his father went missing, the family had printed 50,000 posters and distributed it nationwide, adding that apart from the police and Rela, village folks, political parties, non-governmental and church associations had helped conduct searches for Tan.

He said with the festivities around the corner, he hoped that caring Malaysians would keep an eye open for his father at bus stations or other public places.

Roger also expressed gratitude for the assistance and kind words from Malaysians and called on those who have information on his father’s whereabouts to contact the nearest police station or visit the web site (www.rtkm.com.my/dad).