KUCHING: It appears that Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem has become the Unified Examination Certificate’s (UEC) biggest supporter.
Yesterday, while reacting to news that Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh had evaded media questions on the possibility of public universities recognising the UEC, Adenan told reporters he wished the Federal Government would change the policy.
“I wish they would but if they don’t, it doesn’t affect us,” said Adenan curtly.
“Whether the Federal Government recognises it or not, it’s up to them, but as far as the state Government and state institutions are concerned, we recognise.
“For instance, the state civil service is strictly a state matter. The Sarawak Foundation (which gives scholarships and loans) is also a state matter,” Adenan added.
Idris, during his visit here over the weekend, was asked if the Federal Government would reconsider its policy that denied UEC holders admission to public universities.
Idris said he had discussed it with state political leaders, adding: “Whatever is produced by UEC has to be consistent with the National Education Policy.”
Asked if the matter would be brought up to the Federal Cabinet, he replied: “I have said what needs to be said.”
The only public university in Sarawak opened to all races is the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).
Although SUPP president Senator Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian has claimed Adenan wanted Unimas to recognise the UEC, the university announced recently that it was unable to do so as it was bound by national policies.
Last November, Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap also said public universities would not recognise the UEC after Adenan was quoted as saying that the Federal Government was being “stupid” and causing unnecessary brain drain.
Back then, Adenan had voiced his frustration over the fact that Malaysia was one of the few countries that did not recognise the UEC, lamenting “what a waste” it was to bleed talent.
This month in the run-up to the state election, recruitment ads for state civil service were published in Chinese newspapers, highlighting that UEC holders could apply.
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