GEORGE TOWN: The DAP today cast doubt on an election pledge by Barisan Nasional to recognise the United Examination Certificate, which is awarded by independent Chinese secondary schools.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng demanded a firm answer from BN, saying that the BN manifesto only promised to “consider” recognising the UEC.
The UEC issue has been a long-drawn-out battle between the independent Chinese secondary schools and the government. The certificate is not accepted as a qualification for entrance into public universities or into the public services.
Lim said: “The BN manifesto used the term ‘dipertimbangkan’ (to consider) granting recognition to UEC. This is akin to saying we will consider only. Whether it will be approved or not, we do not know.
“Consideration is not approval, but the MCA and BN are likening it to an approval.”
The BN election manifesto states that the government will consider admitting into public universities those possessing an equivalent certificate to the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia.
“The approval is conditional on having a credit in Bahasa Malaysia or history — and the same applies to the UEC,” Lim said.
The United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) said the number of UEC-holders had increased by 1,000 per year.
The UEC is accepted for admission by some foreign universities such as the California Institute of Technology, Oxford, Cambridge, University of Toronto and the National University of Singapore.
In Malaysia, the Sarawak and Selangor state governments also recognise the UEC for admission to state-owned higher education institutions, while Sarawak accepts the UEC for entrance to the state civil service. In Penang, UEC holders can work in state-owned companies.
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