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Making the final lap

  • Non-Chinese Malaysians have grown suspicious of UEC mainly because irresponsible politicians and organizations are spreading distorted information about it.

Sin Chew Daily

Since the special committee on the recognition of UEC was set up last November, it has so far met up with several organizations and individuals in the education industry.

According to the committee's chairman Eddin Khoo, those he had met were not as resistant as we thought. On the contrary, he said they were willing to talk about the issue, which is indeed a good news for the ultimate recognition of UEC.

The local Chinese community has been fighting very hard for UEC recognition all these years. Prior to GE14, Pakatan Harapan promised to recognize UEC if it won the elections. Unfortunately, nothing much has been done to this day.

The government has later set up a special committee to explore the issue and listen to the views of the public before submitting a complete and comprehensive report to the cabinet.

One thing we must admit is that UEC recognition is indeed facing very tough challenges and is never as straightforward as we might have imagined.

Although the Chinese community has shown a lot of enthusiasm to get UEC recognized by the government, the Malay society seems to think otherwise.

Khoo pointed out that whether the government would eventually recognize the UEC qualification is not an administrative issue or a matter of honoring an election pledge. In its stead, it is a highly complicated perception and racial issue.

As a matter of fact, UEC recognition has been made complicated with a lot of non-educational factors thrown in.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad mentioned earlier that the problem of the Malays is much larger than UEC recognition itself. But even with all the hindrances, the PH government has the obligation to remove the obstacles and walk the final mile because this is exactly what it has promised the Chinese community.

The good news is that those against UEC are not as unbending as we may think. Eddin Khoo said these people are actually willing to talk, and indeed some of them are sending their children to Chinese schools, showing that they have faith in the quality of Chinese school education.

Because of a lack of understanding and misguidance from irresponsible politicians, many non-Chinese Malaysians have grown suspicious of UEC, especially with some politicians and organizations promoting distorted information about it.

Generally speaking, non-Chinese are against UEC recognition mainly because they think it is an obstacle to national unity as it emphasizes the history of China, among other things.

Such misunderstanding needs to be dispelled. The government and Chinese educational organizations alike must effectively explain the truth to the non-Chinese community so that they have a better understanding of UEC and independent Chinese schools, for the simple reason frank discussions and common understanding on UEC are only possible if they are established upon the basis of truth.

The special committee on UEC is still doing its work of public consultation. It is hoped that the committee will complete its report as soon as possible for submission to the cabinet so that he government can ultimately fulfill its election pledge of recognizing UEC.

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