LEGAL PROFESSION ACT 1976
(Malaysia Act 166)
Bahasa Malaysia Qualifying Examination
Subsection 11(2) of the Legal Profession Act 1976 provides that as from 1 January 1984, no qualified person shall be admitted as an advocate and solicitor unless he has passed or is exempted from the Bahasa Malaysia Qualifying Examination.
2. The present requirement for exemption from the Bahasa Malaysia Qualifying Examination is a credit in Bahasa Malaysia at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (‘SPM’) level or its equivalent
(see ‘EXEMPTION FROM THE BAHASA MALAYSIA QUALIFYING EXAMINATION’)
3. Those who do not qualify for exemption under paragraph 2 are required to pass an oral examination in Bahasa Malaysia conducted by the Qualifying Board. The examination is held before a panel of three persons comprising -
(a) a Member of the Qualifying Board (Chairman);
(b) a representative of the Attorney-General; and
(c) a representative of the Bar Council.
4. There are two Parts in the oral examination. In the first part, the ability of the candidate to converse in Bahasa Malaysia is tested by asking his background and his views on general topics.
5. In the second Part, the candidate is required to read a passage in English of extracts from judgments of Court or legal articles published in local law reports. He will then be tested on his understanding of the passage and will be required to translate in Bahasa Malaysia what he has read. The passage selected is on legal topics such as civil and criminal law, commercial law, bankruptcy, constitutional law, legal profession, etc.
6. The standard expected by the panel to decide whether a candidate has attained a credit level in the oral examination is the same as that expected in the oral examination to obtain a credit in Bahasa Malaysia at SPM level.
7. In preparing for the oral examination, candidates are advised to read and understand written judgments and legal articles in Bahasa Malaysia and English, and as reference material for legal terms and phrases, the Istilah Undang-Undang, Rules of the High Court and Subordinate Court Rules.
8. Application for the oral examination can be made online via e-LPQB with a fee of RM150.00.
9. A candidate who fails in the oral examination is not permitted to retake the examination for two (2) months unless the panel decides otherwise. The fee of RM150.00 is payable at each sitting of the examination.
10. Application for exemption from the Bahasa Malaysia Qualifying Examination can also be made online via e-LPQB -
(a) by attaching a copy of the SPM Certificate or other relevant certificate; and
(b) with payment of RM100.00 for the Certificate of Exemption.