争取承认华文独中统考-活动/交流会

争取承认华文独中统考

Speech by The Chairman of Dong Zong Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau Lee Ming

Date: 7 February 2017 (Tuesday)
Time: 10.30am
Venue: Meeting Room A401, Dong Zong

Umno Information Chief YB Tan Sri Annuar Musa,
Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Vice President Datuk Dr Dominic Lau and members,
Central Committee of Dong Zong and administrative staff of Dong Zong,

Good morning to all of you.

First and foremost, on behalf of Dong Zong, I welcome the visit by Umno Information Chief YB Tan Sri Annuar Musa, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Vice President Datuk Dr Dominic Lau and members. The visit by YB Tan Sri today is to know more about the operation of Unified Examination of independent Chinese secondary schools and Chinese education issues. Dong Zong welcomes government agencies, political parties of two divide or any non-governmental organisations keen to learn about Unified Examination and Chinese education issues.

Let me briefly explain the background of independent Chinese secondary schools and its development to YB Tan Sri. Prior to 1961, there were 70 Chinese secondary schools in Peninsula Malaysia. These schools were set up by Chinese community and received subsidies from the government to run the schools.

The Rahman Talib Education Report was released in 1960. The report proposed Chinese secondary schools to convert or subsidies would be revoked. The Education Act 1961 was later passed. All 54 Chinese secondary schools accepted the conversion to use English as its medium of instruction. They are the conforming secondary schools known as Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (SMJK) today in order to continue receiving subsidy from the government. Later, the government changed the medium of instruction from English to Bahasa Melayu. A total of 16 Chinese secondary schools were willing to give up government subsidy and remain unchanged then. They are the independent Chinese secondary schools today.

After leaving the national education system, independent Chinese secondary schools are to be on their own. However, these schools received strong support and sympathy from the Chinese community. Some conforming secondary schools also later established independent Chinese secondary schools. Currently, Malaysia has a total of 60 independent Chinese secondary schools and a branch school. This also includes schools in Sarawak and Sabah. In the early 70s, independent Chinese secondary schools were at its lowest point facing shortage of students and lack of financial support. In 1973, both Dong Zong and Jiao Zong (Chinese School Teachers’ United Associations of Malaysia) formed the “Dong Jiao Zong Working Committee on national development of independent Chinese secondary schools” to promote development of independent Chinese secondary schools by standardising academic curriculum, organising unified examination, training teachers and exploring avenues for students to pursue further studies. These efforts have successfully brought independent Chinese secondary schools to a new scenario.


I must stress that the teaching and learning materials of independent Chinese secondary schools are not sourced externally or transferred from places outside Malaysia. Since standardising the curriculum of independent Chinese schools in 1974, it has complied with the standard of national education. The syllabus released by Ministry of Education is used as the yardstick where teaching and learning materials are finalised by referring to relevant syllabus from various countries to adapt to the standard of independent Chinese secondary schools. The teaching and learning materials are then compiled by taking local sentiments into considerations.

Independent Chinese secondary schools are an important segment of Chinese education in Malaysia. Apart from shouldering the mission of developing vernacular education and also extending the dissemination of Chinese culture, the schools teach three languages to assist the country in grooming talents. The schools have since delivered outstanding achievement in various sectors. However, the government does not offer any form of official recognition of independent Chinese secondary schools. Besides not recognising the Unified Examination Certificates (UEC), the government does not approve the setting up of new independent Chinese secondary schools. The Education Act has never stated clearly the legitimacy of independent Chinese secondary schools. In fact, for more than 40 years, under strong support of Chinese community, independent Chinese secondary schools achieved significant progress in various sectors. The number of students has increased from 28,000 in 70s to more than 85,000 this year. The UEC is widely recognised by majority of universities in the world. The value and quality of UEC receive international recognition. Based on the list of top 200 universities in the world published by newspaper The Times in UK, more than 89 universities in the list accept UEC holders.

Under the impact of globalisation, Malaysian society has since been even more dynamic. Malaysians are not only facing domestic competition but also global challenge. The rise of China as a huge economic entity sees the economic value and international status of Chinese language gaining prominence. Chinese education has since become more important. We can see from here that the Chinese education system in Malaysia matches with the current trend. Talents who are versatile in languages are able to gain advantage in a competitive environment. Hence, I hope the government can provide recognition for independent Chinese secondary schools run by the community, acknowledging the contribution and nation building of Chinese education for the country. I am of the view that judging from the angle of education and social development, the unified curriculum and the unified examination offered in independent Chinese secondary schools fulfil national interests. For those who claim of “violating national education policy”, “not in accordance with national sentiment”, and “tarnishing national sovereignty” are unfounded and baseless.

In addition, multi-stream of vernacular education is protected by Federal Constitution and Education Act as fundamental right of a citizen and the right should not be denied. It should not be a chip coin for bargain in politics. The government should develop multi-stream of education fairly and treasure the vernacular education of each ethnic group as national assets. In 2015, the late Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan has taken the lead to recongnise UEC and pointed out that the unwillingness of Federal Government to recognise UEC is a form of wastage which has also caused brain drain. He also criticised the move as a stupid policy. It’s a fact that over politicking cast adverse effect on the quality of human resource and education in the country. I urge the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education and the Federal Government to show its sincerity by assessing UEC based on academic requirement and acknowledge UEC equivalent to STPM where it can be used as one of the qualifications for UEC holders to further studies in local public universities.

I would also like to brief YB Tan Sri that currently the number of students in these 60 independent Chinese secondary schools + 1 branch school this year has exceeded 85,000. Each year the independent Chinese secondary schools experience overcrowding of students. Hence I urge the government to be more open in its approach when judging such phenomenon by allowing Chinese community to set up new independent Chinese secondary schools or a new branch, allocate fund to support the development of independent Chinese secondary schools to resolve overcrowding of students.

For the future of Malaysia and also our next generation, I hope the Ministry of Education and the Federal Government should do away with unitary education paradigm, encourage more open policies and treat multi-stream education as a significant capital in cultural heritage as well as social development. They should build more multi-stream schools so that every child can have the chance to undergo vernacular education.

Lastly, I am grateful that YB Tan Sri pays us a visit today. The visit means Umno is willing to take the first step to acknowledge UEC. I hope this is a good start and not the end. At the same time, I hope through the visit and dialogue, both sides are able to know each other more and we can achieve consensus.

As we are still celebrating Chinese New Year, I wish YB Tan Sri, Datuk Dr Lau and Gerakan members a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year. Thank You.

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