PUTRAJAYA, July 5 — Anyone seeking government employment in the country must pass SPM Bahasa Malaysia without exception from now on, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced today.
He also said the federal government will soon amend the law to compel all housemen to undergo a two-year training programme to be medical officers.
Currently, medical graduates who have completed their housemanship programme can choose to either serve two years as medical officers, or resign.
“The Cabinet also requested and suggested that the Medical Act 1971 be amended to include the clause to make the two-year training after housemanship mandatory, and to insert a prerequisite to pass BM,” he told a news conference here.
“Therefore, the Cabinet has decided to revoke the relaxation given to trainee doctors who are doing their housemanship; and we have also decided to retain the prerequisite to pass BM for all government position intakes in the country,” he added.
Controversy over a must-pass in SPM BM for doctors arose following uproar from pro-Bumiputera groups over a government statement exempting certain trainee doctors who had studied abroad seeking work here on a contract basis.
Housemen seeking permanent positions in the civil service are already currently required to pass the BM paper in SPM.
At a separate news conference earlier today, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said the government is reversing the BM waiver and will enable medical graduates training here now to take the SPM examination for the subject and pass before being appointed medical officers.
Both Ahmad Zahid and Dr Subramaniam said those who intend to take the BM paper for SPM would also not be required to sit for any other subject.
*Editor’s note: An earlier version contained errors regarding an amendment to mandatory training for housemen which have been corrected since.