Negeri Sembilan Bersatu chief Rais Yatim has submitted a protest note to the Attorney-General's Chambers over the decision to accept United Examination Certificate (UEC) qualification as a prerequisite to sit for the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) examination.
In the note which Rais shared on Facebook, he accused attorney-general Tommy Thomas of pre-empting the government, which is conducting a study on whether to recognise UEC.
"What the larger interest group wants is for the AG's Chambers to do its homework first. You are now making two official educational streams.
"In the law education, you recognise UEC; in the vernacular system, the decision is not yet made.
"I think you should have waited a bit longer so that the government can make the proper choice," he said.
However, Rais erroneously accused Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching of making the announcement on the recognition of UEC as a prerequisite for CLP on behalf of the AGC.
"The crowd saying you are playing into partisan politics is becoming louder when Teo announced on your behalf that the AG's Chambers is giving prompt recognition to UEC in the legal education sphere.
"It would be good if you issue a statement on this and not allow Teo to exploit your position. Once it becomes a vivid political issue, you may find the cauldron too hot to stay in," he said in the protest note.
The announcement on accepting UEC qualification as a prerequisite for CLP was made by Thomas in a statement on March 29 in his capacity as the Legal Profession Qualifying Board of Malaysia chairperson.
Previously, UEC holders who wished to sit for the CLP examination must obtain a pass in at least two subjects at STPM or A-Levels equivalent, on top of three credits in SPM or O-Levels equivalent.
With the new decision, UEC holders can now sit for CLP if they have two passes at UEC Senior Middle 3 level and at least five credits in SPM or O-level equivalents.
Thomas said the requirement will only take effect in 2021. The UEC qualification was previously accepted for CLP, but this ceased in 2005.