PETALING JAYA: The Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) must be aligned to national aspirations to be recognised, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Its recognition needs to be looked into in the context of present and future education policies, the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president said in a statement yesterday.
“We cannot do something that is opposite and against national aspirations,” he said.
In a recent interview with Sin Chew Daily and other Chinese newspapers, Muhyiddin stressed that even if Pakatan Harapan were to come into power after GE 14, the UEC would still have to be aligned to the national education policy before it can be recognised.
He said that Dong Jiao Zong, which comprises two Chinese education bodies that have been fighting for the UEC to be recognised, cannot continue to push for its recognition unless they soften their stance and accept amendments proposed by the Government.
“As I know, Dong Jiao Jong is too extreme. You have to be moderate. If possible, accept the revision suggestions. (Then) include the History subject. The examination of Chinese independent schools is still UEC. This is more in accordance with the Malaysian spirit. As of now, the syllabus and exam do not reflect national values,” he told the Chinese press.
Muhyiddin, who is a former education minister, said the issue regarding the UEC concerned the country’s education policy which stresses a single-language teaching and examination model, which is not new.
His stance did not sit well with one of his Pakatan allies. DAP MP Teo Nie Ching expressed shock when reading Muhyiddin’s remarks, saying that recognising the UEC has always been a common agenda among parties in Pakatan. She told an online news portal that Pakatan’s manifesto clearly states that it will recognise the UEC.
MCA Youth secretary-general Datuk Leong Kim Soon has also criticised Muhyiddin, saying that he was contradicting the promises made by his Pakatan allies.
Leong also slammed Muhyiddin for his claim that Malaysia stresses a “single-language teaching and examination model”.
He asked whether Muhyiddin was trying to change the status of vernacular schools and the constitutional right to mother-tongue language.
In a statement issued by Dong Jiao Zong yesterday, they rubbished Muhyiddin’s claims that the UEC was in conflict with national asprations.
“This is slander,” the statement read.
Dong Jiao Zong also said that they were not surprised to have been labelled “extremists” by Muhyiddin.
They said that when Muhyiddin was education minister, he made statements that ignored the sensitivities of a multi-cultural society, and called him a “promoter of single-stream education”.
“He has been obstructing the building of a multi-racial society,” Dong Jiao Zong said.
The UEC is a standardised examination conducted in the country’s 60 Chinese independent secondary schools.
More than 800 universities in the world open their doors to UEC students, including top-ranking institutions such as the California Institute of Technology, Harvard University and National University of Singapore.