KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Hua Zong) has clarified that it had not quoted the prime minister as saying that the Malaysian government intends to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).
In a statement dated yesterday (July 18) posted on Hua Zong’s website, Hua Zong president Tan Sri Goh Tian Chuan sought to clear the air over news reports regarding what transpired in Hua Zong’s first meeting with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the prime minister on July 16.
Goh urged against any attempts to politicise the UEC issue or turn it into a racial matter, calling for the public to take a moderate view of Hua Zong’s stand on the UEC issue as well as on Hua Zong’s quoting of the main points by the prime minister during the meeting.
Goh also expressed hope that those with ulterior motives would not twist the matter or make their own biased interpretations or cause unnecessary misunderstanding, before going on to stress that Hua Zong did not describe the government as intending to recognise the UEC.
“I want to emphasise and state that, regardless of whether it was during the meeting or in the prime minister’s own subsequent Facebook post, it was not stated that the government wants to recognise the UEC. Hua Zong also did not quote the prime minister as announcing that the government wants to recognise the UEC!” he said in the Chinese-language statement that was also posted up as a link last night on Hua Zong’s Facebook page.
Goh yesterday pointed out that Hua Zong had instead quoted the prime minister as indicating that there could be further talks based on government policies and the country’s situation to seek for a final “consensus” on the UEC matter, and had also cited the prime minister as being prepared to further engage Hua Zong and the Dong Jiao Zong — comprising of the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) and the United Chinese School Teachers’ Association of Malaysia (Jiao Zong).
A check by Malay Mail of Hua Zong’s July 17 own write-up (also in the Chinese language) on its website had used the same phrasing mentioned by Goh of the government’s readiness as indicated in the July 16 meeting to seek a final consensus on the UEC issue through further talks with Hua Zong and Dong Jia Zong.
Among other things, Hua Zong’s July 17 had cited the prime minister as indicating that an understanding of the country’s policies and situation was required for further talks on the UEC matter, while also citing Muhyiddin as having shared his personal opinion that he too hoped that the government would finally be able to recognise the UEC if possible.
Also in Hua Zong’s statement yesterday, Goh said he fully supports the prime minister’s indication that further talks could be held on the UEC issue based on government policies and the country’s situation to seek for a final consensus, noting that this was positive as it indicated that the new government is open to talks and negotiation on the UEC matter.
The Hua Zong statement yesterday was posted ahead of the Prime Minister’s Office clarification that the prime minister did not state in the July 16 meeting with Hua Zong that the government will be recognising the UEC.
The PMO also said that Muhyiddin had stated that UEC had in the past received partial recognition from the government where such graduates were accepted for the bachelor’s degree in teaching programme (PISMP) for the Chinese language specialisation at Institute of Teacher Education (IPGM), with the condition that they pass the SPM exam and score at least a credit in the BM subject.
The PMO also cited the prime minister as stressing that the UEC has to comply with the National Education Policy for the government to consider a resolution in the future.
Based on the previous write-ups by Hua Zong on the July 16 meeting, the organisation said that it had submitted a 15-point memorandum covering its 15 recommendations on politics, the economy, cultural matters and education to the prime minister. The memorandum was published in full on its website.
As part of its four recommendations in the July 16 memorandum regarding education, Hua Zong had urged the federal government to recognise the UEC which the organisation said had long been accepted for enrollment into universities abroad and had also received recognition from five state governments (Selangor, Penang, Melaka, Sabah and Sarawak).
Noting that the UEC Policy Task Force (PPDUEC) established during the Pakatan Harapan administration had completed its fact-finding report on the UEC and that the report was ready to be presented to the Education Ministry, Hua Zong had in the memorandum expressed hope that the matter could be resolved from an academic point of view and without affecting racial harmony.