Malaysian Bar says effectively recognised UEC for at least two decades

Malaysian Bar President Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur March 16, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Malaysian Bar President Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur March 16, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — The acceptance of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) as a prerequisite for the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) is simply a formalisation of its partial recognition for over 20 years, the Malaysian Bar explained today.

Bar president Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor said the Legal Profession Qualifying Board (LPQB), which sets preconditions for the examination, acknowledged official pre-tertiary qualifications and pointed out that the UEC was among these.

“The Malaysian Bar notes that for this purpose, the LPQB has long recognised the UEC qualification to varying extents, for at least the last two decades.

“The Malaysian Bar also notes that the recognition of the UEC qualification by LPQB is for a specific and very focused purpose — it merely permits an eligible holder to sit for the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) examination, if all other prerequisites have been fulfilled,” Abdul Fareed said in a statement yesterday.

The Malaysian Bar also confirmed the move will only take effect on January 1, 2021.

The UEC is awarded to graduates of independent Chinese schools in Malaysia and its official recognition varies by authority.

On March 29, Attorney General Tommy Thomas, in his capacity as the LPQB chairman, announced that the UEC will again be recognised as a prerequisite, reversing the cessation he said was enforced in 2005.

Prior to this, UEC holders who intend to sit for the CLP must obtain three credits in the SPM or O-Levels equivalent, and a pass in at least two subjects at the STPM or A-Levels equivalent.

With the new decision, the group may sit for CLP if they have two passes at the UEC Senior Middle 3 level and a minimum of five credits in SPM or O-level equivalents.

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