Nga says remarks on DAP quitting govt over UEC taken out of context

Perak DAP chief Nga Kor Ming says he was interviewed on parliamentary reforms.

PETALING JAYA: Perak DAP chief Nga Kor Ming has clarified that a news report quoting him as saying that DAP will quit the government if Putrajaya refuses to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) has taken his remarks given in an interview “out of context”.

He said it was an hour-long interview by Chinese newspaper Oriental Daily and the main topic was about parliamentary reforms that had been achieved.

He said the news report was based on only one sentence.

“Obviously it has been taken out of context and the heading is inaccurate,” he told FMT, when asked to comment on the article.

Nga, who is also Dewan Rakyat deputy chief, was commenting on a report by Malaysiakini which translated the interview from Oriental Daily.

It quoted Nga as saying that DAP had reached a consensus to withdraw from the government if the UEC was not recognised.

The UEC is a high school certificate awarded by independent Chinese schools.

Nga, who is also DAP deputy secretary-general, was also quoted as saying that DAP had not become silent after becoming part of the government.

“(In fact) we are braver to speak out now that we have the government channel and this can be seen in the Cabinet meetings.”

Nga had also tweeted that Malaysiakini’s report was “highly misleading” as it had taken his statement out of context by reporting an excerpt of a long interview with Oriental Daily.

‘Unhealthy and against the rule of law’

Following the news report, lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla told FMT that Nga’s statement was “unhealthy, immature and against the rule of law” as the UEC issue was a policy decision that had yet to be deliberated by the Cabinet.

Haniff said it was common knowledge that a task force led by the then education minister Maszlee Malik was looking into the UEC recognition issue and it had yet to present a working paper to the Cabinet.

He said as such, it was “very wrong” for Nga to make such remarks and he ought to retract his statement right away.

“The task force is to report to the Cabinet and a policy decision is to be made there. But that task force has yet to complete its report.

“So, how can a senior leader from the DAP, a ruling government party, make a statement that is as good as a threat and intimidation to the government? Respectfully, this is very wrong.

“It is unhealthy, immature and gives an impression that the one that made the comment wants to go against the concept of supremacy of the law,” Hanif added.

Former Umno MP Tawfik Ismail, meanwhile, asked if Nga’s stand was also the stand of the other DAP leaders.

Asking other DAP members to voice out their views, he said Nga’s statement might reflect the ground sentiments of the DAP grassroots.

“It sounds like an ultimatum,” he said.

Political analyst Prof Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) also echoed Tawfik’s views and asked if this was also the view of other DAP leaders.

He said perhaps Chinese educationists group may have voiced out the issue to Nga as Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was now the temporary education minister.

“Perhaps they are hoping to get some attention on this matter as Mahathir looks to revamp the education system,” said Azizuddin.