Election Manifestos of All Parties Are to Honour— Rational Dialogue and Professional Negotiation for the UEC Recognition

Statement Released by Dong Zong

July 22, 2020

Election Manifestos of All Parties Are to Honour—

Rational Dialogue and Professional Negotiation for the UEC Recognition


Dong Zong expects all walks of life to sustain an attitude which is ready to listen and communicate in rational dialogue and professional negotiation rather than one which clamours, protests and provokes to strive for the UEC recognition and acceptance. We also urge the Prime Minister and the MOE to schedule a meeting sooner with Dong Zong for the UEC recognition and acceptance.


The issue of the UEC recognition was a common understanding of all parties in the country, be it the then Barisan Nasional government or the opposition Pakatan Harapan. In actual fact, the UEC recognition was one of the promises in their election manifesto and it augured well for the acceptance as they all shared the same view to recognise the UEC from the professional aspect. Unfortunately, we regret to witness how the endeavour for the recognition of the UEC over the two years have turned out to be a challenge towards the national status of Bahasa Melayu which incites ethnic confrontations and makes the efforts put into the non-easily-attained common understanding and trust in vain.


As a matter of fact, the government has gradually accepted the UEC as one of the admission requirements for local universities or higher education institutions, including local private universities, state-run universities as well as government cum private sector’s joint venture universities. As early as 2012, the government had allowed UEC holders to apply for Bachelor Degree of Teaching Programme for Chinese as a subject thus to teach in Chinese primary schools as government servants. Currently, seven state governments formed by various parties have formally recognised the UEC: Penang island, Perak, Selangor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Sarawak and Sabah. Saliently from what it shows, more and more politicians and high-ranking MOE officials are willing to let go of the ethnic luggage to treat the UEC recognition issue from practical, compassionate, professional and rational perspectives.


Dong Zong understands that a particular ethnic group and community has misunderstood the UEC as they reckon it an imported system from ethnic Chinese region such as China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, etc. The reality being, in the process of formulation, the UEC curriculum relies on the curriculum standard issued by the central government and it adequately reflects local curricular view under the national education policy. Simultaneously, Dong Zong has observed the directive of according Bahasa Melayu as the national language and accepting Bahasa Melayu distinction in the SPM as the supplementary prerequisite for UEC holders to get tertiary study admission and actually all independent Chinese secondary schools offer Bahasa Melayu as a required subject. As such, we wish our country men will see the UEC recognition with a macro, pluralistic and panoramic mindset from the perspectives of professionalism, competitivity and nurture of talents.


Lastly, we appeal the new National Alliance government to reactivate the negotiation of UEC recognition based on the understanding of all parties in 2018 to honour the self-expectations of our Prime Minister Tan Sri Dato Haji Muhyidin bin Haji Mohammad Yassin for the country. We also urge the MOE to accept the PPDUEC report submitted by the UEC Task Force headed by Eddin Khoo and subsequently disclose its contents sooner for public knowledge and understanding as this will further cohere social understanding of the relevant policy.