PETALING JAYA: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic) says that he feels "let down" by the reply he received from the Education Minister pertaining to his March 27 questions in Parliament about the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).
One of his queries was about the status of the holistic study on the implementation of the UEC.
The other was if a candidate's UEC would be recognised subject to a credit in Bahasa Malaysia in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and no other additional conditions, as promised by Pakatan Harapan in its manifesto during the 14th General Election.
In a statement on his Facebook page on Friday (March 30), Dr Wee said the reply from the Education Ministry did not provide a concrete answer if the UEC would be recognised.
"The recognition of the UEC must ensure that the status and importance of Bahasa Malaysia is not affected and does not undermine interracial unity and harmony," said Dr Wee, stating that Bahasa Malaysia was the national language and its official language status was unquestionable.
"It is also an indisputable fact that all UEC candidates must sit for the Bahasa Malaysia subject. Other than that, in terms of interracial unity and harmony, Chinese independence schools have always adopted an open approach that celebrates diversity, he added.
According to him, many non-Chinese students have also sat for the examination, and that the recognition of the UEC should therefore not be viewed as a zero-sum game.
"Recognising the UEC mainly allows it to be used as a qualification to apply for jobs in the civil service and enter public institutions of higher learning without undermining the status of Bahasa Malaysia. Moreover, applicants must also have obtained a credit for Bahasa Malaysia," he clarified.
Dr Wee also stated his agreement with Datuk Ong Chiow Chuen's prior statement on March 22, stating that the recognition of UEC must be based solely on academic considerations, and not other complicated factors as mentioned by the UEC committee.
"The Education Ministry reaffirmed that it had established a taskforce (PPD-UEC) to study the recognition of the UEC. The Ministry has also prepared the terms of reference for the taskforce to carry out their jobs, including their research.
"The PPD-UEC shall complete the study and table its proposals for the recognition of the UEC in July this year and to make a decision on the next course of action," he added.
Dr Wee also issued a reminder that Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching had said before the May 9 general election that Pakatan would immediately recognise the UEC if it took over the government.
"It has now become an empty promise. I hope the Pakatan Harapan government will bring us good news in July this year," he urged.