KUALA LUMPUR: Lim Guan Eng said today that education issues such as MCA-linked Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman and the Unified Examination Certificate could have cost the DAP some Chinese votes, leading to Pakatan Harapan’s heavy defeat at the Tanjung Piai by-election.
Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, said “I think there are a lot of reasons behind it” when asked to comment on the swing of Chinese voters towards the Barisan Nasional.
His party colleague Teo Nie Ching had said earlier that issues revolving around UEC and the TAR university college had resulted in the swing of Chinese votes.
“Maybe this was one of the factors that BN and MCA exploited,” Lim said.
The by-election was won by BN candidate Wee Jeck Seng of MCA with an overwhelming 15,086-vote majority over his main rival, Karmaine Sardini (PH-PPBM) and four others.
During the election campaign, Lim had maintained that the MCA should relinquish control of TAR college as a condition for receiving RM30 million in a government grant, while MCA leaders had attacked him for his stand.
In 2018, as part of its general election promises, Pakatan Harapan had said it would recognise the UEC, the school-leaving certificate of Chinese-medium independent schools.
However, in July, the education ministry announced only that it had set up a committee to study and compile data about the examination.
Commenting further on the by-election defeat, Lim said it wasn’t enough for Pakatan Harapan to claim that the current government was unlike the kleptocratic administration of the past.
“The people want us to fulfil the promises made, so it is important that PH focuses on this,” he said.