Kuala Lumpur, March 7 – Since missing the opportunity of being recognized by the government at the eve of the 13th general election, the effort to get the government in recognizing the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) has come to a standstill.
However, there seems to be renewed hope recently as mentioned by president of the United Chinese School Committees’ Association (Dong Zong) Datuk Vincent Lau Lee Ming that Dong Zong could accept students sitting for UEC exam to also sit for SPM Malay language paper so that the government would recognize the UEC.
Vincent Lau pointed out that Dong Zong hoped to finish the last mile of the government’s recognition of the UEC before the next general election; thus, the association had decided internally that it was willing to let the students of Chinese independent high schools sitting for SPM Malay language paper as the condition for the recognition of UEC.
He said as the students were unable to sit for a single subject paper under SPM, he therefore hoped that the government would arrange for the Chinese independent high school students to sit for the SPM Malay language paper.
Minister of Higher Education Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh had earlier mentioned that his ministry did not reject the idea of recognizing the UEC but the UEC examination paper on Malay language as well as history must be on par with the SPM Bahasa Melayu and history paper in SPM.
Lau Lee Ming said the sitting for the history paper was an additional condition raised by the government in the later part, and the government did not understand the history content of the Chinese independent high schools’ curriculum, actually it was written with reference to the national history.
“For the moment, we (Dong Zong) have reached a consensus internally, i.e. on the government’s recognition of UEC, we can accept SPM Malay language paper on par but we do not agree their version that history subject of UEC curriculum does not meet the national conditions.”
Hope to meet PM in the near future
He added that Dong Zong together with MCA had made some studies on the history textbooks of Chinese independent high schools to find out whether they really did not conform to national conditions as contended by the government, but the conclusion reached was there was not much difference between the history subject of national schools and Chinese independent high schools, the only difference is the area of emphasis.
Lau Lee Ming, who led a delegation of Dong Zong visited Oriental Daily News head office for exchange of views today, made the above remarks.
He did not deny that recently there were talks that there was renewed hope on the government’s recognition of the UEC, and also there was source saying that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib did not have much objection on the recognition of UEC, but there were some different voices among the Malay community and hence the overall situation must be taken into account.
In view of this, Vincent Lau hoped that the Prime Minister, Ministry of Education as well as the Ministry of Higher Education would arrange for a meeting with Dong Zong to discuss on the matter as soon as possible.
Dong Zong secretary-general Poh Chin Chuan who had met up with the Prime Minister together with former Dong Zong president Yap Sin Tian and few others on April 1, 2013 admitted that Dong Zong missed the opportunity of getting the government to recognize the UEC because Dong Zong was not decisive enough.
According to Poh Chin Chuan, at that time six representatives of Dong Zong had met with Najib at the Prime Minister’s Office, Najib was alone and there was only a Chinese lady assistant taking notes.
He said on Dong Zong’s request for the government to recognize the UEC, the condition raised by the Prime Minister was Dong Zong must accept SPM Malay paper, at that time there was no mention about history subject.
“If we were decisive enough at that moment and agreed with Najib, the issue of recognition of UEC would have been settled.”
Kho Hai Ming, who was also present at the Prime Minister’s Office at that time added that two days after the meeting with Dong Zong, the prime minister had made an audience with the king to dissolve the parliament.
From their point of view, the subsequent condition of requiring the Chinese independent high school students to sit for SPM history paper, could be because there were some different opinions internally with the intention to prevent the government from recognizing the UEC.