KUCHING, Nov 4 — Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem blasted the federal government today for its refusal to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) awarded to graduates of local Chinese independent schools.
Continuing, he said such a “stupid policy” was detrimental to the country’s growth, as it failed to fully utilise young talents to the local labour force.
“Many countries and private universities all over the world give due recognition to UEC, but not Malaysia. What a waste,” he said at the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Integrity Day here.
“If we do not give recognition, then UEC graduates will go overseas to study and when they have graduated, they will stay back and work in those countries. This is what we call brain drain.
“I do not care what the Federal government does. I recognise UEC,” he said, adding that it is within the state’s jurisdiction to recognise the certificate.
He also praised the Pakatan Harapan Selangor government for giving recognition to UEC.
“It is good for them to follow us,” the first term chief minister said.
He said unlike in peninsular Malaysia, there are many natives in Sarawak who send their children to Chinese schools.
“In some rural schools, 90 per cent of the students are Malays and Dayaks, though the school board members are all Chinese,” he said.
“So, how can you disallow these students from entering local public universities, but you allow foreigners possessing other entry qualifications to come and study in Malaysia?
“This is what I call a stupid policy,” he said, adding that the State government will stand up for Chinese Independent Schools as they have been doing a great service to the State.
He said since becoming chief minister in February last year, he had given a total of RM12 million to Chinese Independent Schools in Sarawak.
“I will give more fund in the years to come,” he said.
On September 21 this year, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian met with Adenan and later announced the Barisan Nasional state government’s recognition of UEC as a qualification for entry into its civil service and University Malaysia Sarawak.
He said holders of UEC would need to pass a credit in Bahasa Malaysia as a condition to enter the State Civil Service.
Dr Sim also said the chief minister had assured that UEC holders would be accepted to study at UNIMAS, and that the Management of the Chinese School Boards would work with the university senate to out the technical details.
He said UEC holders with good grades would also be accepted to study medicine at the university.
UEC holders are also eligible to apply for study loans from Sarawak Foundation.