CLP GRADUATES DEPRIVED OF RIGHT TO LIVELIHOOD - YONG YIT JEE
18 Feb 2021
KOTA KINABALU: Many 2019 Certificate of Legal Practice (“CLP”) graduates throughout Malaysia are deprived of their right to livelihood provided for under Federal Constitution, particularly those who have completed their chambering but unable to be called to the respective Bars (Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya).
Yong Yit Jee, member of SAPP Supreme Council cum lawyer stated that they are denied opportunity of employment as they cannot become lawyers in Malaysia.
"The sole reason they cannot become lawyers is because Legal Professional Qualifying Board (“LPQB”) is not issuing certificates which is overdue since 2019.
"The requirement of a certificate for a pupil in chambers is very clear under Sabah Advocates Ordinance (section 4), Sarawak Advocates Ordinance (section 4) and Legal Profession Act 1976 (section 5)," he said in a statement today.
It appears that LPQB is not issuing the certificates, Yong added, as they are unable to hold convocations for these 2019 CLP graduates due to pandemic.
"CLP graduates who have completed or almost completed their pupillage need this certificate for them to become lawyers. We are now in the second month of 2021. Why is LPQB so adamant in holding convocations before issuing the certificates when the issuance of certificates is their basic function and duty?
"As a result of LPQB’s insistence in holding convocations prior to issuance of certificates, the Chief Justice of Malaysia had to step in and save the day.
"The Chief Justice of Malaysia issued a practice direction recently that pupils applying for admission to Sabah Bar can use letters from LPQB certifying that pupils have passed CLP exams instead of the certificate itself," said the lawyer.
Yong also called on the LPQB to adapt to the new norm and exercise its administrative powers accordingly where certificates may be issued without holding the convocations, or convocations may be held virtually.
"I also call for LPQB to include Sabah Law Society (SLS) and Advocates Ordinance of Sarawak (AAS) in the joint technical committee as observers for any existing or future reviewing applications by any new Malaysian university for recognition of its law degree.
"LPQB’s recognition of law degrees provided by Malaysian universities also affect local pupils looking to be admitted to Sabah and Sarawak. Therefore, it is only fair that input from SLS and AAS are taken into account in accreditation of law degrees provided by Malaysian universities."