PETALING JAYA: A 39-year-old man finally sat for his SPM Chinese paper this year after having had to skip it multiple times over two decades.
Admin executive Wong Yong Geng sat for the paper on March 15 as its oldest candidate, 21 years after he first sat for his SPM in secondary school.
“I was studying at a national secondary school where Chinese classes were held on Saturdays for two hours.
“I did not sign up for the Chinese paper, ” he told mySinChew, Sin Chew Daily’s English-language portal.
Wong’s SPM results were among the top five in the school and he was later admitted into Universiti Teknologi Malaysia to study mathematics.
However, Wong felt that he did not fully complete his SPM as he chose not to take the Chinese paper and so he registered for it while in university.
He paid RM32 for the exam fee and borrowed books from classmates to study on his own, but the SPM exam date clashed with his own university exam.
Wong therefore had no choice but to skip the Chinese paper that year.
In 2007, he signed up for the exam again after completing his Master’s degree programme, even applying for leave from his company to sit for it.
His company, however, had arranged for him to attend an important course, so he had to skip the paper again.
Wong signed up for the Chinese paper for the third time in 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic led to the postponement of the SPM exam to February this year.
Although work did not require him to have the Chinese SPM qualification, he wanted to complete it.
At long last, he took unpaid leave this year and sat for the Chinese SPM paper.
“I am fulfilling my dream of 21 years. I have not been writing Chinese words for many years and it can be quite tiring.
“I do not encourage others to sit for the paper at my age. They should be sitting for the paper when they are much younger, ” he said.