The STPM exam leak report scandal: Is there a report or no report?

by Parliament Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kiat Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, June 8, 1984 :

The STPM exam leak report scandal: Is there a report or no report?

The Ministry of Education statement in today’s press that the Minister of Education, Datuk Dr. Sulaiman Daud, had not yet received the STPM examination papers leakage inquiry report from the Malaysian Examinations Council has introduced a disturbing air of mystery to the inquiry and its report.

About three weeks ago, the press announced that the five-man inquiry into the STPM exam question leakage in 1983, which forced 72,000 STPM candidates to go through the anguish of having to resit for the leaked subjects, had completed its report. The Malaysian Examinations Council Secretary-General, MEC would meet in one or two days’ time to study the report.

Subsequent reports, some which quoted the MEC Chairman, Professor Ungku Aziz, stated that the report had been submitted to the Minister of Education.

Now, the Education Ministry has denied that the Minister had received the report, adding the even more mysterious statement that the ‘final version of the report would be ready soon’.

If the five-man inquiry committee set up to investigate into the STPM exam papers leakage had completed and submitted its report, how come there is still to be a ‘final version of the report’. Does this mean that the Malaysian Examinations Council or the Ministry of Education is editing censoring or vetting the report to suit the MEC or the Education Ministry’s interest?

The STPM Exam Leakage Report will end up as a second scandal, a sequel to the 1983 leakage scandal, unless the MEC and the Ministry of Education immediately release the report, and leave it to the people to judge. If the MEC or the Education Ministry disagrees with the findings of the five-man inquiry, it could release a separate statement or report for public consideration.

I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to require all reports into scandals to be made public once they are completed, and to change the practice of holding back such reports until they are censored and sanitized, or suppressed totally. The public have a right to know why there had been such a scandalous leakage of the STPM exam papers in 1983, and even if the inquiry report reflects most unfavourably on the competence, integrity or efficiency of the MEC, this is no cause for suppression or censorship of the report. Otherwise, the boast of a ‘Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy’ government would have no meaning.

The mystery surrounding the STPM leakage report should be ended forthwith, and I call on the Education Minister to assure the public that there would be no suppression or censorship of the report, and on the MEC to release the report without any more delay.