PM denies Putrajaya will recognise UEC, says cert partially accepted since 2012

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has denied today saying Putrajaya will recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC). — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has denied today saying Putrajaya will recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC). — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has denied today saying Putrajaya will recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) following a meeting with Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Hua Zong) recently.

A statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said the UEC must follow the National Education Policy if it wishes for an end towards the conflict in the future.

“The prime minister said the UEC has received partial recognition after the government in the past accepted UEC graduates into the bachelor's degree teacher training programme (PISMP),” it said.

Muhyiddin said in 2012, the government had accepted UEC graduates to enrol in the PISMP for Chinese Language, provided they pass the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) certificate and scored with honours in Malay Language.

In 2012, Muhyiddin himself was then education minister under the Barisan Nasional administration.

Last week, Hua Zong had claimed that Muhyiddin said he hopes the UEC will be recognised in the future and was willing to negotiate with the Chinese civil society groups on the issue.

Under the Pakatan Harapan administration, a UEC Policy Task Force (PPDUEC) was established to gauge major stakeholders and look into issues of recognising the certificate.

The task force consisted of Eddin Khoo, United Chinese School Committees' Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) deputy president Datuk Tan Yew Sing who is also Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce president, and Muslim Islamic Youth Movement of Malaysia president Mohamad Raimi Abdul Rahim.

It was reported that the taskforce’s final report was ready to be submitted early this year but was put on hold following Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik’s resignation as education minister.

Now under the Perikatan Nasional administration, many quarters are also asking for the government to recognise the UEC.

UEC is a standardised test for Chinese independent high school students, which is not regulated by the Ministry of Education, that was introduced in 1975.

In Malaysia, the issue has been politicised by certain quarters that claim UEC is an obstacle to achieving national unity, especially in education.

UEC is accepted in certain private colleges in Malaysia and countries such as Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Currently, five states — Penang, Melaka, Sabah, Sarawak and Selangor — have announced that they recognise UEC though the students also need to take the Malaysia Education Certificate (SPM) examinations as well.

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