Umno Youth: UEC recognition will make education system ‘disorderly’

Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki (seated, centre) at the press conference after chairing the first Umno Youth meeting following the wing’s elections in June.

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth has objected to the proposal by the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), including for entry into public institutions of higher learning.

Its new chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki claimed that the move would make the Malaysian education system become “disorderly” as there were other certificates of the same level that were already recognised by the government.

He said it would also lead to failure in efforts to achieve national identity and racial integration.

“What country has a system like this (where multiple certificates are recognised)? I think even Singapore only recognises a single system,” he said after chairing the wing’s first meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre here following party elections last month.

The UEC is the school-leaving certificate issued by independent Chinese-medium schools in Malaysia. Chinese educationists have long pressed for government recognition of the certificate for entry into public universities and for employment in the public service.

The certificate has received limited recognition as an entry qualification in several states including Sarawak, Selangor and Penang.

It is also recognised by universities in Singapore.

Malay-based groups, such as Perkasa and Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung, have objected on the grounds that the UEC curriculum was not in line with education policies of the previous government.

Yesterday, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said that the government would carry out a holistic study before making a decision on whether to recognise the UEC.

“UEC is among the promises made in Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto. We need to take into account the views of various parties and (the interests) of Bahasa Melayu and national harmony,” he had said.

“I will meet with various stakeholders, including those who champion the national language,” he added.

On another matter, Asyraf said Umno Youth also opposed former information minister Zainuddin Maidin’s call for tahfiz schools to be closed down.

He said it went against the decision of the Council of Rulers and the various state religious authorities that had approved of such schools.

In a blog posting, Zainuddin had called on new Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa, who oversees religious affairs, to close down tahfiz schools, claiming that they did not contribute to the future of the new generation of Muslims.

He said Mujahid should be brave and firm in helping Muslims to face reality and adopt a dynamic attitude while rejecting “Arabisation”.

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