Govt moves to stop teen’s UPSR suit on grounds it lacks merit

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KUALA LUMPUR: The government and the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate have applied to strike out a suit brought by a 13-year-old boy following the leaks in last year’s Primary School Achievement Test, or Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR). A notice filed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, which is appearing for the government, stated that Ananda Krishnan Menon’s suit lacked reasonable cause for action.

A trial will not be heard if the government succeeds in its application. Ananda, who has dyslexia, filed the suit last October against the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate and Putrajaya for negligence in the handling of the UPSR examination papers which was leaked the previous month, resulting in some 480,000 Year Six pupils having to retake four of the papers. The government’s application further stated that the suit was frivolous, vexatious, and an abuse of court process.

“The plaintiff has a hopeless case and obviously not sustainable against the defendants,” stated court papers made available to the media.

The government is also asking for legal costs to be paid by Ananda and other relief deemed fit by the court.Ananda said in his suit that he had suffered from emotional and mental stress as a result of the examination fiasco. The suit was filed through his mother K Managala Bhavani through law firm Rajadevan & Associates last Oct 13.

Ananda, from Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Tun Dr Ismail (2) in Kuala Lumpur, said he lacked the will to repeat the entire process of preparation for the resits of the public examination. In his statement of claim, Ananda said he was more depressed than the other pupils over the resit because of his disability. Ananda claimed the government did not take action against the examinations syndicate members and their agents over the leaks. “Instead, the government set up an independent committee to review its standard operating procedure in the conduct and management of public examinations,” the schoolboy said in the suit.

He said the syndicate, its employees or their agents were negligent which resulted in the leak of the Science, English, Mathematics and Tamil papers. He added that the syndicate had failed to provide a safe system in ensuring there was no leak and failed to supervise its employees from the time the examination papers were sent to all schools nationwide.

He is seeking aggravated damages for the situation allegedly created by the syndicate. The examinations syndicate is entrusted to prepare and print question papers for all public examinations as these documents are classified under the Official Secrets Act before the examinations start. — The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 9, 2015.