Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Bar's evaluation team re-visits UUM and MMU

Reproduced from the Malaysian Bar Website

The LPQB Evaluators with the mooting team of Multimedia University.

The Malaysian Bar's evaluation team recently re-visited Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) at Sintok, Kedah and Multimedia University (MMU) in Malacca to undertake a total review on the conditional exemption from Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) examination given to UUM and MMU law graduates two years ago.

The conditional exemption which required UUM and MMU law graduates to undergo an intensive course on conveyancing practice and legal opinion writing and drafting before they could be called to the Malaysian Bar had also expired on April 15 this year.

The Bar's evaluation team, appointed by the Legal Profession Qualifying Board ("LPQB"), was headed by former Bar Councillor, Roger Tan. Their last visits to UUM and MMU respectively took place in August 2008 and September 2008.

During their visits to UUM on March 19-21, 2011 and MMU on April 12-15, 2011, the Bar's team members were joined by representatives from the Judicial and Legal Services. Each of the evaluators was assigned to a particular area of law whose main role is to advise the Evaluation Committee on the necessary recommendations to be made to LPQB.

The Evaluation Committee is headed by the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court, Datuk Hashim Hamzah who also took part in the two evaluation exercises. The other Committee members are: Tan, Puan Aliza Sulaiman, LPQB Director, Tuan Muniandy Kannyappan, Head of Research Division, AG Chambers and a former LPQB Director, Professor Zita Mohd Fahmi of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, Prof. Dr. Aisah Bidin, Dean of Law Faculty, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and a representative from Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam.

During the two visits, the evaluators were tasked to review whether, by comparing the law syllabus taught by the two universities and the ten areas of law covered by the CLP course, namely Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Tort (General Paper), Contract (General Paper), Advocacy and Duties of Counsel (Professional Practice), Ethics of the Legal Profession (Professional Practice), Land Law and Land Dealings (Professional Practice), Bankruptcy & Winding Up (Professional Practice), Probate & Administration of Estates (Professional Practice) and Civil Procedure, the law graduates of these two universities should be completely exempted from the CLP exam.

In the process, the evaluators attended lectures, tutorials and moots; and examined and interviewed graduated students, existing students and their lecturers and tutors. Copies of the syllabus, examination questions, students' assignments and examination answers (categorised from poor to good), marking schemes, external examiners' comments, teaching materials and other relevant materials had also been extended to the teams during and prior to their visits. Tan had also taken close to 800 pictures during the two visits.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hope yet to improve English

Teacher Rose Anne Easaw
addressing the school assembly
of Sekolah Menegah
Yong Peng in 1977. 
Standing behind her
is the writer.
The Star
by Roger Tan

It seems like a huge task to restore Malaysians' standard of English but it can be done if we put our hearts to it.

IN November 1996, a Saudi Arabian Airlines 747 jet collided with an Air Kazakhstan cargo plane near New Delhi, killing 349 crew and passengers.

Investigations later revealed that the accident was partly caused by the Kazakh pilots' insufficient fluency in English in understanding the instructions given by air traffic controllers.

Needless to say, this was only one of the several plane accidents which had been caused by the pilots’ poor command of English.

Today, the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organisation require all pilots to be fluent in English. So just imagine what will happen if our Malaysian air traffic controllers and pilots are not sufficiently proficient in English. This will no doubt bring dire consequences.

English is not just the lingua franca of civil aviation, but of the world. In this Internet age, it is also the lingua franca of the Web if we want to stay connected with the world, and avail ourselves to the colossal amounts of online information.

In the 1960s and 1970s, we Malaysians were credited for having a supreme command of the English language in the region.

Then, we had no lack of personalities like R. Ramani, a former Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations and president of the Malaysian Bar.

His impeccable command of English, both written and spoken, often impressed the world body and made our nation shine on the international stage.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Experts: Water issue needs thrashing out

There is a prediction that there will be a major water shortage issue by 2014, which will affect the people in the city. There is an urgent need to replace leaky pipes to resolve the issue of water wastage. – AFP
The Star

As the population in Kuala Lumpur grows, there will inevitably be higher demand for water and the increase in the number of people will also lead to more waste being generated.

The need for improved sustainability has been highlighted by IBM and Siemens in their study on Kuala Lumpur's sustainability. There is currently a water impasse between the Selangor government and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) . Syabas supplies water to Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya. The Government will intervene so that consumers will not be burdened by water issues, says Commissioner of the National Water Services Commission (Span) Roger Tan. Span, approved by Parliament in June 2006, came into force on Feb 1, 2007, to promote efficient water services management.

“Before 2005, the state government has authority over water issues. After some amendments to the law, the state government has juridiction only over raw water, which is untreated water while water companies focus on water treatment and supply,” Tan says.

The second issue is wastage. It was highlighted about a couple of weeks ago that Malaysians use an average of 226 litres of water per person daily, which is way above Singaporeans (154 litres) and the Thais (90 litres). Low tariff has led to high consumption.

No access to information in three categories

The Star

SHAH ALAM: The public will not be allowed access to three categories of information despite the Freedom of Information Enactment being passed at the state assembly.

Under Section 14, information classified as confidential and secret under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) is exempted from the enactment.

The second exemption refers to trade secrets obtained from a third party and to communicate it would constitute an actionable breach of confidence. The third exemption applies to information, if disclosed, causes serious prejudice to the effective formulation or development of state government policy.

Including sub-clauses, the exemptions in the enactment passed yesterday had been reduced from 11 to five. There are, however, three scenarios where the exemptions can be overruled and information could be made available under Section 15.

Section 15 states that regardless of Section 14, a department must grant access to the applicant if the information's disclosure is of public interest.