Parti Pribumi Bersatu (Bersatu) president Muhyiddin Yassin has denied issuing any warning that a Pakatan Harapan-led government would not recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).
In a statement today, his office said Muhyiddin had merely said that recognition for UEC would depend on Malaysia’s education policy, which calls for the same curriculum and examination system to be used across the board.
“Saying that recognition for UEC needed to be looked into based on the context of present and future education policies, Muhyiddin added that ‘we cannot do something that is opposite and against national aspiration.’
“In general, Muhyiddin was only stating the facts of how UEC could be recognised.
“The headline ‘Pakatan won’t recognise UEC, Muhyiddin warns’ as carried by The Star, and ‘Pakatan may not recognise UEC’ as carried by The Malay Mail therefore, is totally misleading, mischievous and unfounded.
“This is because Muhyiddin did not issue any warning or say anything to such effect during the interview he had with Sin Chew Jit Poh.
“Such an erroneous report will not augur well for national unity and solidarity,” his office said.
Earlier today, The Star and The Malay Mail Online had published articles with the two headlines, based on Sinchew Daily’s reporting of the interview.
According to the statement from Muhyiddin’s office, China Press and Nanyang Siang Pau were also present at the interview.
The UEC is a standardised test administered at Malaysian Chinese independent high school. It is recognised as an equivalent to the SPM examination in universities abroad and local private universities, but not in Malaysian public universities.
Sinchew Daily quoted Muhyiddin saying that unless Dong Jiao Zong (United Chinese School Committees’ and Teachers’ Association) softens its stance and accept the government’s recommendations such as to introduce a history subject, then it won’t be able to gain recognition for UEC even under a Pakatan government.
“He (Muhyiddin) stressed that this is a matter of national education policy, which stresses on a model based on a single curriculum and single examination system. This is not a new subject, but has been in place without any changes since the Razak Report,” Sinchew Daily reported.
The report further quoted Muhyiddin, who is the former education minister, saying, “Education can unite the people. (Although we don’t yet recognise UEC), we have been lenient on this.
“I remember when I was the education minister, we already allow independent high school graduates to be admitted into local universities and teaching institutions, on condition that they also passed SPM.”- Mkini