by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 24th March, 1992:
The unusually large number over 1,000 students seeking reassessment of their SPM Bahasa Malaysia paper justifies an independent inquiry.
The Education Minister, Datuk Dr. Sulaiman Daud, said that over 1,000 students have asked the Education Ministry to reassess their Bahasa Malaysia paper in last year’s SPM examination.
The deadline for the appeal for re-marking of the SPM Bahasa Malaysia paper is March 29, and the very fact that there is already such an unusually large number of over 1,000 students seeking a re-marking justifies, the setting up of an independent inquiry into the marking the SPM Bahasa Malaysia Paper last year.
There was an overall drop of 0.9 per cent in the pass rate for the paper in last year’s SPM examination.
It is unfair to say that those who fail to get good grading in the SPM Bahasa Malaysia are weak or not interested in the subject, when there are students in particular school’s in Penang and Kuala Lumpur
who normally perform well in the subject and are generally expected to get distinctions but who did very bad and just managed to pass.
I am glad that after DAP protest, the re-marking period has been reduced from three months to one-and-a-half months. This should be reduced further so that all results of the re-marking can be made known by before the end of April to ensure minimum disruption for students who would be entitled to join Form Six classes. I do not believe that this is beyond the capability of the Examinations Syndi¬cate, or something is very wrong with it and the Examinations Board should be overhauled.
Public Confidence in the examination system is involved here, and an independent public inquiry will go a long way to regain public confidence in the public examination system in the country.
If the Ministry of Education is not prepared to allow an independent inquiry into the Examinations system to determine the reason, for the very poor results of the SPM Bahasa Malaysia paper in certain schools in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, then there is danger that there will be continuing erosion in public confidence in the public examination system.
I hope Datuk Dr. Sulaiman Daud can see the importance and urgency of such a public inquiry into the SPM Bahasa Malaysia marking, and raise this matter for a Cabinet decision tomorrow if necessary.