We have said this many times and we’ll say this again. There are two things that Malaysian Chinese treasure dearly – economy and education. Try taking one of them away and you are asking for trouble. Ex-PM Najib Razak, despite sucking up to President Xi Jinping and bragging about his son’s fluency in Chinese, didn’t realize how his GST had affected the business and economy.
Shops were closing down in droves because people refused to spend due to escalating cost of living. Actually, there was a magic wand that Najib could use to swing the Chinese voters – UEC recognition. But it’s water under the bridge now. Even after MCA, a component of the (defeated) Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government, begged Najib to flash the magic wand, Najib refused to.
Overconfident of ethnic-Malay support, Mr. Najib could only promise to “consider” the recognition of UEC (Unified Examination Certificate). Looking back, he probably regrets putting all the eggs in a basket (Malay votes) while looking down on the importance of Chinese votes. His ignorance and arrogance saw over 95% of Chinese voters chose opposition Pakatan Harapan.
One can argue until the cows come home whether the BN lost because the Malays were divided into 5 blocs or the Chinese were united into 1 bloc, or both. Yes, thanks to UMNO’s excessive racism and extremism, the young generation of Chinese emerged united against the BN ruling government in 2008, 2013 and ultimately, the 2018 general elections.
Mahathir has never forgotten how his administration was saved by the Chinese in the November 1999 general election, during which the Malays rebelled after the sacking of the then deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim from the Cabinet and UMNO in September 1998. With the Chinese in his pocket, Mahathir just needed to secure a third of Malay votes to win the 2018 election.
Najib thought he was smarter than Mahathir by ditching the Chinese voters and went fishing for only Malay voters instead. He, of course, lost his shirt. Again, the bloc of Chinese voters helped Mahathir significantly for the second time. And now, it’s time to fulfill the Pakatan Harapan government’s pledge to recognise UEC, failing which will see severe punishment in the next 15th general election.
What is wrong with recognizing the UEC? Is UEC some sort of brainwashing education system that would transform the students to become communists or terrorists? If they are, universities in Australia, UK, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Japan, United States, Taiwan, China, France and Canada, just to name a few, would have had produced tons of terrorists.
Nope, the pre-university UEC programme is recognised by many top universities abroad and private local universities but amusingly, not local public universities. The excuse given by the Malaysian government was that UEC was conducted in Chinese language, not Malay language. The previous BN government, however, cannot explain why universities abroad accept UEC with open arms though.
In actuality, Bahasa Malaysia (national language or simply Malay language) was a compulsory subject in all Chinese independent secondary schools. The UEC syllabus was drafted based on the national education curriculum standards of the Ministry of Education. Hence, the bombastic allegation that Malay language will be threatened does not hold water.
The real reason for the refusal to recognise UEC has nothing to do with its syllabus conducted in Chinese language but everything to do with lack of confidence, hatred, racism, jealousy and whatnot. Yes, despite their mother tongue – Malay language – being medium of instruction in public universities, majority of Malay students still could not compete with the Chinese students.
When many universities around the world accept the UEC but not Malaysian public universities, there can only be one reason – the local Malay students need “protection”. It’s a public knowledge that Chinese students who scored a perfect mark of 4.0 will not necessary able to study medicine in public universities but Malay students who did worse will be able to.
The racism and discrimination education policies adopted by previous BN ruling government was to discourage the minority Chinese the tertiary education in public universities, never mind that it had led to a brain drain of educated Chinese and an exodus of talent to countries that recognise the qualification. Heck, UEC education is funded by donations from the Chinese community, not the government.
Adenan Satem, former Sarawak’s Chief Minister, realizing how Sarawak would lose talent to countries such as Singapore and Taiwan, said in 2015 – “I don’t care what the Federal Government does but I think it’s stupid. I’m prepared to stand up for it. Other countries would pinch them. What a waste. How could we deny these people opportunities (in Malaysia)?”
But why can’t majority Malay students compete with minority Chinese students? It’s all about quality education. From the beginning, the vernacular school – SJKC – have devoted teachers committed to nurturing elites. Even increasing number of Malay parents send their kids to Chinese schools because the system inculcates good values such as filial piety, respect for elders, integrity, discipline and diligence.
For those who can afford overseas education, Chinese students as young as 11 years old (Primary 5) would sit for international schools entrance exam, skipping one year of primary 6 at SJKC. Those who cannot afford the expensive international school would most likely continue their education at Chinese secondary schools and thereafter – UEC examination.
Therefore, while the Chinese are fighting for quality education, the Malays are fighting for protection in the form of anti-competition. The ill-intention has been to make the Malay students uncompetitive and dumb, so that UMNO Malay nationalist party can continue brainwashing and controlling them. That explains why majority of Malay graduates were unemployable.
There must be something wrong when Malaysian UEC students are not welcomed in their own country but the National University of Singapore has been poaching hundreds of top UEC students not only for their academic excellence but also for their trilingual capabilities. The popular excuse used by critics has been that the UEC does not follow national education system.
Yet, going by the same logic, how does a student from Kazakhstan or Bosnia or Nigeria gain admission into Malaysian tertiary education institutions when their respective education systems do not follow Malaysia national system? Only people who practice extremism and racism would feel inferior and lack of confidence to recognize students with UEC certification.
Source : Finance Twitter