Tun M : We need to be practical. Manifesto is just a guide not a bible

(16-07-2018)

The pre-election manifesto is not a bible that has to be followed and abided by religiously, according to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Dr Mahathir Mohamad today insisted that the appointment letter for Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof as the new Dewan Rakyat speaker had been prepared earlier, adding that the walkout by opposition MPs at the Parliament this morning was a “sandiwara” (play acting).

Commenting on the decision to name a non-parliamentarian as the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat as promised in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto, the Prime Minister said certain items included in the document might not be practical to be carried out. “Please remember manifesto is not a bible. It’s a guide. Sometimes we can do things, sometimes we find that we cannot. So we need to be practical-minded. And I think the public would prefer someone who is not related to any party,” he told reporters after the swearing in ceremony of MPs in Parliament, here, today. Commenting on claims by the opposition that the appointment of the speaker was done illegally as the name was not submitted 14 days earlier, Mahathir said those claims were false. “There was no backdate on the speaker’s appointment. The letter to notify the parliament has been prepared much earlier, so when I signed the letter, I merely put the date on it,” he said.

He questioned criticism by Umno and other opposition MPs who claimed that Ariff’s appointment was not according to procedure, and that Parliament had not been served a two-week notice as required. “For the first time, the ex-prime minister walks out. So we know what it means when somebody walks out,” said Mahathir, adding that their action was only a “sandiwara”. MPs including former prime minister Najib Razak and current Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had earlier walked out of the Dewan Rakyat in protest, saying Ariff’s appointment was not in accordance with the standing orders. Only Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin and Kimanis MP Anifah Aman remained in the Dewan. Khairy Jamaluddin defended his decision to remain in the Dewan Rakyat after opposition MPs walked out in protest over the new speaker, saying any objections on the appointment should have done when the sitting convenes.

“Perhaps the objections could have been done when the sitting officially begins or during debates or through a standing order. “For me, it is better for us to respect the event today,” the Rembau MP told reporters, referring to the swearing-in ceremony. The former youth and sports minister said he did not want to do anything that could tarnish BN’s image. Opposition MPs from Barisan Nasional and PAS walked out of the Dewan Rakyat in protest over former Court of Appeal judge Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof’s appointment as the new speaker. They said they were dissatisfied with the choice of candidate, claiming it did not follow the standing orders. Apart from Khairy, Kimanis MP and former foreign affairs minister Anifah Aman also stayed put. When asked if he was afraid of the possible repercussions from his decision, Khairy said “ I made a decision that is to respect the swearing-in.” Ariff was sworn in this morning as the new speaker. The motion for his appointment was tabled by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and seconded by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Meanwhile, the government has spent an estimated RM1.384 billion between May 10 and July 16 to stabilise RON95 petrol prices, according to PKR vice-president Mohd Rafizi Ramli in his blog post today. This amounts to a subsidy of between 17 sen per litre and 30 sen per litre to maintain the price at RM2.20 per litre, he said. Otherwise, he said the weekly RON95 prices would have increased for six weeks and fell for five weeks in the weeks since the general election on May 9, going as high as RM2.50 per litre. The price for this week would have been RM2.44 this week without the subsidy, he said, using publicly available data for his estimates. He added that government revenue had also increased by RM1.77 billion over the same 67-day period.

This is due to crude oil prices increasing above the US$50 per barrel assumption used to formulate the 2018 budget, leads to increased royalty, tax, duty and other collections. The current Brent Crude Oil price is US$73.10 per barrel. Rafizi said this means that 78 percent of the extra government earnings from increased crude oil prices have been returned to the people. “I am satisfied because the Pakatan Harapan administration has held on to its pro-rakyat economic policies that we have championed for many years. I did not oppose the Harapan administration on the matter of fuel subsidies because the subsidies returned to the people is above what had been promised in Harapan’s manifesto. I thought Umno and PAS leaders would shut up because they know Harapan’s performance in stabilising fuel prices is better than what we ourselves have expected,” said Rafizi.

“The problem is that it is not easy to school Umno and PAS supporters who are obsessed with imagined manifesto promises,” he said. Rafizi also said he had written the blog post because Umno and PAS supporters had been pressuring him to “oppose” the Harapan-led government for supposedly failing to deliver on its promise to reduce fuel prices. He said he finds amusing because it meant that the opposition parties are not confident in their ability to champion the people’s welfare. In addition, he said Harapan did not promise to set fuel prices at either RM1.50 per litre or RM1.80 per litre as alleged. He said the RM1.50 per litre was the promise for the 13th general election campaign, whereas the RM1.80 per litre figure came from an example he had used when crude oil prices were hovering between US$45 and US$55 per barrel.

Instead, Harapan had merely promised it its 14th general election manifesto to provide fuel subsidies to those using motorcycles with engine capacities below 125 cubic centimetres, and cars with engine capacities below 1,300 cubic centimetres. Fuel prices had been placed under a managed float since December 2014 following the withdrawal of government subsidies, until it was frozen in the weeks leading up to the 14th general election. The Harapan-led government maintained the freeze for RON95 and diesel prices after it took power on May 9th, which retailed at RM2.18 per litre. RON97 prices, meanwhile, returned to a managed float where prices are revised weekly.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had said that the government had set aside RM3 billion to maintain the RON95 and diesel prices for the rest of the year.

Mohd Ariff, Rashid dan Nga dilantik sebagai Speaker dan Timbalan Speaker

(16-07-2018)

Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad mengesahkan bekas Hakim Mahkamah Rayuan, Datuk Mohamad Ariff Yusof dipilih sebagai speaker Dewan Rakyat yang baru. Pada 11 Julai lalu, sumber media tempatan berkata Mohamad Ariff mungkin dipilih selepas calon terdahulu Datuk Johari Abdul mencetuskan kontroversi ekoran kedudukannya sebagai ADUN Gurun. Dalam reaksi segeranya, Mohamad Ariff menyuarakan rasa terima kasihnya atas pemilihan itu.

“Tentunya saya rasa berterima kasih dan rendah diri untuk dinamakan sebagai calon untuk dipilih bagi speaker Dewan Rakyat yang baru,” katanya. Menurut biografi rasminya, Mohamad Ariff memulakan kerjaya pada 1974 sebagai pensyarah undang-undang dan seterusnya profesor madya Fakulti Undang-undang di Universiti Malaya, sebelum menjadi peguam pada 1986. Bapa kepada lima anak itu merupakan pengasas bersama firma Cheang & Ariff. Antara 1993 hingga 1995, beliau keluar sementara daripada bidang guaman apabila menyertai Suruhanjaya Sekuriti yang baru ditubuhkan ketika itu dan menjadi pengarah pertama jabatan penyeliaan pasaran. Pada September 2008, beliau dilantik sebagai pesuruhjaya kehakiman di Mahkamah Tinggi dan kemudian hakim Mahkamah Tinggi setahun kemudian. Pada September 2012, beliau menjadi hakim Mahkamah Rayuan dan memegang jawatan itu selama tiga tahun sehingga persaraannya pada awal 2015. Mohamad Ariff juga ketua jawatankuasa disiplin parti AMANAH tetapi beliau melepaskan semua jawatan dalam Amanah sebelum 2 Julai lalu kerana speaker Dewan Rakyat perlu bebas daripada sebarang politik kepartian. “Saya letak jawatan dalam 26 Jun atau 28 Jun,” katanya di lobi Parlimen hari ini.

Terdahulu, Setiausaha Agung Amanah, Mohd Anuar Tahir mengesahkan Ariff menyerahkan surat peletakan semua jawatan dalam parti itu, termasuk pengerusi Lembaga Disiplin dan Tatatertib serta ahli Majlis Penasihat Pakar Amanah pada 1 Julai lalu. “Beliau melepaskan semua jawatan yang beliau pegang dalam parti. Kini, beliau hanya ahli biasa,” kata Anuar. Manifesto PH jelas menyatakan speaker Dewan Rakyat dan Dewan Negara akan dilantik daripada kalangan ahli dewan yang mempunyai integriti serta kredibiliti, selain perlu berhenti daripada politik kepartian sebaik sahaja menerima jawatan itu. Ariff yang merupakan bekas hakim Mahkamah Rayuan dan ahli Amanah mengangkat sumpah sebagai speaker Dewan Rakyat hari ini, namun ahli Parlimen Barisan Nasional (BN) serta PAS bertindak keluar dewan sebagai tanda protes terhadap pelantikan itu yang didakwa tidak mematuhi peraturan Dewan Rakyat. Mengikut Peraturan Mesyuarat 4 (1), kerajaan perlu menyerahkan nama speaker kepada setiausaha Dewan Rakyat sekurang-kurangnya 14 hari sebelum Parlimen mula bersidang.

Tetapi, ahli Parlimen BN dan PAS mendakwa beberapa pemimpin serta menteri PH dilaporkan pada 2 Julai lalu berkata, kerajaan belum memutuskan siapa calon speaker Dewan Rakyat. Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Liew Vui Keong dilaporkan berkata, nama speaker sudah diserahkan 2 Julai lalu, manakala Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail dilaporkan berkata, pihaknya membincangkan perkara itu pada 8 Julai lalu. Hari ini, Dr Mahathir mempertahankan pelantikan Ariff dengan berkata, PH menyerahkan nama calon speaker pada 2 Julai lalu. Sementara itu, Ariff turut mempertahankan pelantikannya sah dan tidak melanggar peraturan Dewan Rakyat kerana surat usul pencalonannya dihantar kepada setiausaha Dewan Rakyat pada 2 Julai lalu. “Itu boleh disahkan oleh setiausaha Dewan Rakyat.” Beliau berkata, demokrasi Parlimen hanya boleh dicapai dengan adanya kerjasama daripada semua ahli Parlimen, termasuk pembangkang. “Jadi, kita lihat macam mana boleh baiki (demokrasi Parlimen) secara bersama. Ini bukan kerja ahli Parlimen kerajaan, menteri, tetapi saya fikir semua orang” katanya.

Di samping itu, Ahli Parlimen Batu Pahat, Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon dan Ahli Parlimen Teluk Intan, Nga Kor Ming dilantik sebagai timbalan yang dipertua Dewan Rakyat. Speaker Dewan Rakyat, Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof mengumumkan pelantikan itu selepas Rashid dan Nga mendapat undian tertinggi daripada 3 calon. “Rashid memperolehi 171 dan Nga memperoleh 124 undi. Manakala Ahli Parlimen Beluran Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee memperoleh 93 undi,” katanya di dalam Dewan Rakyat. Sebelum ini, Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad mencadangkan kedua-nama nama tersebut. Manakala Barisan Nasional (BN) melalui Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi mencadangkan Ronald. Setiausaha Dewan Rakyat, Datuk Roosme Hamzah berkata 3 senarai calon itu dihantar kepadanya pada 2 Julai lalu. Mohamad Ariff yang juga speaker Dewan Rakyat yang baharu berkata disebabkan ada 3 calon, maka proses pemilihan akan melalui undi oleh ahli parlimen.

Persidangan Penggal Pertama Parlimen ke-14 memulakan mesyuarat pertamanya hari ini, selepas pilihan raya umum ke-14 yang menyaksikan Pakatan Harapan membentuk kerajaan baharu. Semua 221 ahli parlimen mengangkat sumpah kecuali Presiden PPBM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yang juga ahli parlimen Pagoh, yang bercuti sakit selepas menjalani pembedahan membuang ketumbuhan pada pankreas baru-baru ini. Urusan mesyuarat kemudiannya akan disusuli dengan pemilihan 2 timbalan yang dipertua Dewan Rakyat daripada kalangan ahli parlimen bagi membantu yang dipertua Dewan Rakyat mengendalikan urusan mesyuarat dan memastikannya berjalan lancar. Ini merupakan kali pertama dalam sejarah negara menyaksikan peralihan kerajaan daripada BN dan detik itu disiarkan secara langsung oleh semua stesen TV utama negara.

Persidangan Dewan Rakyat akan berlangsung selama 20 hari hingga 16 Ogos.

盘古开天地(公元前4300 ~ 前2500年 ,中国大事迹:大汶口文化中晚期,处于父系氏族公社时期)

按照传统说法,从传说中的黄帝直至今天,中华民族的文明史大致近于五千年,一般称为“上下五千年。” 在这五千年的历史里,发生了许多感人的故事。据说,远古的天地不过是混混沌沌的一团气,里面没有光,没有声音。在这团气中,出了一个盘古氏,用大斧把这一团混沌劈了开来。轻的气往上浮,就成了天;重的气往下沉,就成了天地。 以后,盘古氏每天长高一丈,天和地之间的距离每天也增长了。这样过了一万八千年,天就升得很高,地也变得极厚,盘古氏当然也成了顶天立地的巨人。盘古氏死后,他的身体的各个部分化解成太阳、月亮、星星、高山、河流、草木,等等。这便是盘古开天辟地的神话。

神话毕竟是神话,人类历史究竟应该从哪里说起呢?在科学比较发达的今天。我们已经知道人类最早的祖先是一种从古猿转变而来的猿人,这种认识可以从地下发掘出来的化石得到证明。 从我国科学在祖国各地先后发掘出的猿人遗骨和遗物的化石中可以看出,我国境内早期的原始人,有距今170万年的云南元谋人。另外,还有80万年前的陕西蓝田人、四五十万年前的北京人。 古时候,猿人的力气不比上凶猛的野兽,但是他们和其他动物根本不同的地方,就是能够制造和使用工具。这种工具十分简单,一件是木棒,一件是石头。中国猿人就是用这种最原始的工具同大自然作艰苦的斗争的。他们用它来采集果子,挖植物的根茎吃。他们还用木棒、石器同野兽作战,猎取食物,谋取生产。

几十万年过去了,猿人在同大自然的斗争中进化了。我们从遗迹中发现,在北京周口店龙骨山的山洞穴里活动的原始人,已经和现代人没有区别。我们把他们称为“山顶洞人”。 山顶洞人的劳动工具同以前使用的工具相比,在质量上有很大提高。他们不但能够把石头制成石斧、石锤,而且还把小野兽的骨头磨制成骨针。人们用那一枚枚小小的骨针,把兽皮缝成衣服,用它们来保暖御寒。 山顶洞人过着群居生活,但他们的群居生活已经按照血统关系固定下来,彼此之间都有血缘关系。每个成员都是共同祖先生下来的,于是产生了原始人群。后来,又渐渐演变成氏族公社。

盘古开天辟地画像砖:图为伏義,右为女娲。他们以人首蛇身的形式出来。伏義被称为阳帝,女娲被称为阴帝。这构成了一幅完整的中国始祖神话图。

伏義:传说伏義是人首蛇身,与其妹女娲成婚,生儿育女,成为人类的始祖。又相传他是古代东夷部落的杰出首领。伏義根据天地间阴阳变化之力,创造八卦,即以八种简单却寓意深刻的符号来概括天地之间的万事万物。此外,他还模仿自然界中的蜘蛛结网而制成网罟,教民捕鱼打猎。

Prime Minister offered Senatorship but Datuk Seri Anwar turn it down

(13-07-2018)

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had offered Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a senatorship on May 13, three days before the latter received full pardon and release over his sodomy conviction. The senatorship would have paved the way for Anwar to join the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution revealed that Dr Mahathir had made the offer when he visited Anwar at the hospital.

In an interview with a local media, Saifuddin said Mahathir made the suggestion on May 13, three days before Anwar received his full pardon and release over his sodomy conviction. “When (Mahathir) came to visit Anwar, I was at the ward with them. Mahathir invited Anwar to become a member of the administration and wanted to appoint him as a senator. “In a polite manner, Anwar said since Wan Azizah is the deputy prime minister, it’s better for him not to be part of the administration,” he said. “Meaning, the prime minister definitely wanted to include Anwar and there are two ways to do this, either by appointing Anwar a senator, or if he contests in a parliamentary seat (by-election),” he said. “Anwar just thanked the prime minister and said to him, the stage is yours, you should be the one who runs the show.”

This shows Anwar had full confidence and support for Mahathir, said the Kulim Bandar Baharu MP. When Mahathir asked about Anwar’s plan, the latter said he would travel overseas to give talks and tour around the country to thank the voters for supporting Pakatan Harapan, said Saifuddin. Saifuddin, who is also the domestic trade and consumerism minister, said Anwar had stressed that he would return to politics as a Dewan Rakyat member but was reluctant to do it via a by-election at the Pandan seat won by his wife, Dr Wan Azizah. Senators hold the same status as an MP and have commonly been used by BN as a back door to take on a ministerial post. Anwar became a free man on May 16 this year after serving 39 months in jail over a sodomy conviction.

While he had said that he would not seek an immediate return to politics, the PKR de facto leader was also reported as saying that he would be back in Parliament within months and might speed up the process. Saifuddin said PKR has not set a timeline for Anwar’s return to politics, and there was no need to do so. “He had been with the government since the 1980s, he has vast experience. “As much as we did not set a timeline for Dr Mahathir (to step down as the prime minister), we did not set a timeline for Anwar. He can determine himself, whether he wants to have it via a by-election or otherwise, he will decide himself,” he said. “He can determine himself, whether he wants to have it via a by-election or otherswise, he will decide himself,” said the domestic trade and consumerism minister.

“All the PKR parliamentarians have been requested by our PRK de facto leader Anwar and the party president Wan Azizah to support Tun Dr Mahathir and the government, so they can administrate confidently,” he said. Anwar is currently in Turkey undergoing a shoulder operation and recuperating from a spinal operation. Saifuddin also denied allegations that PKR’s internal factions and lobbyists were among the causes for the almost 10-week delay in Tun Dr Mahathir’s finalised 25-members cabinet to be all sworn in, after Pakatan Harapan won the May 9 general election. Tun Dr Mahathir had on May 12 appointed the first three members of his Cabinet while the second batch of ministers was named on May 18. The third batch of 13 ministers and all the deputy ministers were sworn in only on July 2. “It is not true and unfair (to make such an accusation).

The prime minister had asked every party to submit their names to the PH presidential council meeting and urged them to have trust in him, as this is the prerogative of the prime minister,” he said. PKR had submitted 10 names on May 14. “There isn’t any lobbying from PKR, (Not from) Anwar, Wan Azizah or myself, none. We left it to Tun Dr Mahathir,” he said. Some of the names submitted by PKR were not selected, he said. “It was the same for DAP and Amanah,” he said, but declined to divulge those in PKR who had been rejected. However, Saifuddin admitted party deputy president Azmin Ali, who was then Selangor menteri besar, was not in the list of PKR’s ministerial candidates. “PKR was very clear that a Menteri Besar cannot become a minister. Of course, PKR is not stupid, not knowing what is stated in the federal constitution,” he said.

He said it was Tun Dr Mahathir who appointed Azmin to the post of minister for economic affairs. PKR has six cabinet members out of 28 and at first glance, they are mostly aligned with Azmin. Brushing off allegations that the party is split into two factions – Azmin’s and vice-president Rafizi Ramli’s – Saifuddin said, “My view is that they are all part of the PKR team.”

Meanwhile in another interview, former minister Rafidah Aziz has cautioned that politicising race and religion will halt the country’s progress. Speaking at a business forum in Singapore, she was asked what would hold Malaysia back from realising its full potential. “Politicising things that shouldn’t be politicised, because that will cause a lot of divisiveness, friction and uneasiness. “For example, politicising education, politicising race – there is really no place for that. Politicising religion… no place whatsoever. “So, we should be colour-blind to race, religion, and gender, and get on with governance. Governing does not include all these other factors,” she was quoted as saying in Singapore news portal Today Online. The Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) recently resurfaced in the news after Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki objected to how Pakatan Harapan intends to honour its election promise to recognise it for entry into public tertiary institutions.

PAS has also objected to the appointment of non-Muslims to key legal positions in the country, claiming this had caused “restlessness” among Muslims, and questioned if these appointees would be able to defend Islam in legal matters. The Islamist party was commenting on the appointments of Tommy Thomas as the attorney-general, senior judge Richard Malanjum as the chief justice and Warisan’s Batu Sapi MP Liew Vui Keong as the de facto law minister. On another matter, Rafidah brushed off concerns over Malaysia-Singapore ties under Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Asked for her take on the current state of bilateral affairs following Mahathir’s recent remarks about the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) and the “ridiculous” low price Malaysia sells water to Singapore, she said media reports of such remarks should be taken lightly.

“Relationships are built over many decades. Just one wrong interaction does not reflect the kind of relationship we have built up over the years. What you read in the media is not necessarily what transpires. I must be the nastiest person around if you just judge by this,” she was quoted as saying. Singapore had previously said it had not received Putrajaya’s official stance on the HSR, to which Mahathir retorted that the island state “should know what is it we (Malaysia) want to do”. In response to the prime minister’s intention to raise water prices, Singapore had emphasised that the 1962 Water Agreement, which stipulates water be sold at 3 sen per 1,000 gallons, must be honoured. Rafidah is a close ally of Mahathir’s and came out of her retirement from politics to support Harapan during the 14th general election.

She had been part of Mahathir’s cabinet as international trade and industry minister for the most part of his first tenure as premier.

Dr Mazlee : No Flip Flop, No U-Turn and No 60 years to recognise UEC

(13-07-2018)

There is no conflict in the federal government on recognising the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said today. Pakatan Harapan (PH) would not reverse its decision on it. The only conflict in the matter is among the BN leaders, he said. It will not take Pakatan Harapan 60 years to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), says the Education Minister.

Taking a jab at Barisan Nasional, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said Pakatan Harapan would stick to its manifesto and recognise UEC as a legitimate entry requirement for tertiary education. “The only one in conflict is Barisan National (BN), with (MCA deputy president) Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong and MCA saying something else, and (Umno Youth chief) Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki saying something else,” Dr Maszlee told reporters in Putrajaya today. “We are going to make sure that in whatever policy decision we make, there will be no U-turn, there won’t be any flip-flop, and it must be holistic” he said. Dr Maszlee also said it would not take “60 years like BN” to get the certificate recognised. Dr Maszlee was speaking to reporters after delivering his monthly address to ministry staff yesterday.

UEC is issued to graduates of Chinese independent high schools and the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia has been pushing for it to be recognised for years. Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching on Sunday said she planned for the UEC to be recognised by the end of the year. In his speech, Dr Maszlee said the Prime Minister had given him three missions – to instill moral values among students, especially honesty and integrity, to strengthen English proficiency and to increase the use of technology in the teaching and learning process in the classroom. To achieve the first mission, he said the Islamic Studies Department (BPI) and other bodies would prepare a manual on cultivating moral values from preschool right up to public higher learning institutions. On the English language mission, Dr Maszlee promised that Bahasa Malaysia would not be sidelined.

He said Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) had been tasked with the responsibility of organising a campaign dubbed National Language Decade. He also expressed his wish to raise the standard of DBP to the same level as the British Council and Goethe Institute, which are world-renowned language centres. Dr Maszlee also announced that the National Library would now come under the purview of his ministry, as libraries and resource centres should not be separated from education institutions. Meanwhile, MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong pointed out on Facebook that UEC was introduced in 1975, and hence only has a history of 43 years. He urged Dr Maszlee to fulfil Pakatan’s promise in recognising UEC in a straightforward and clear-cut manner and to stop dragging on the issue.

He said Dr Maszlee’s dilly-dallying had resulted in Chinese independent high school leavers missing out on the September intake at local universities. The UEC, which is issued to graduates of Chinese independent high schools, is currently recognised by local private higher education institutions and many universities overseas. It has received limited recognition as an entry qualification in Sarawak, Selangor and Penang.

Meanwhile, two major Chinese education movements have informed Putrajaya that they have no objections to including Bahasa Malaysia qualifications as a criterion for government recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC). United Chinese School Committees’ Association (Dong Zong) and United Chinese School Teachers’ Association (Jiao Zong) had expressed this position to Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching today. Following the meeting at the Education Ministry, Dong Zong president Tan Tai Kim told reporters that this was among several issues raised with the deputy minister. “Pakatan Harapan promised to recognise the UEC and allow Chinese independent secondary school leavers to enrol into local universities. “Dong Zong and Jiao Zong are agreeable to the criterion of a credit in the Bahasa Malaysia paper in SPM as a requirement for the government to recognise UEC,” he said.

To maintain the trust of the people, he stressed that Harapan is obliged to fulfil their manifesto promise. He revealed that the association representatives had suggested meeting regularly with the ministry to discuss various issues faced by Chinese schools. They had also requested to meet Education Minister Maszlee Malik. Jiao Zong president Wang Chao Qun added that the Harapan government should employ a new way of thinking and develop a more diverse education policy. Several Muslim groups, such as Majlis Pembangunan Pendidikan Islam Malaysia (Mappim) and Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah), are now calling for a rally to oppose the recognition of UEC, claiming that the unity of the nation will be destroyed otherwise. Referring to this, Dong Zong deputy president Tan Yew Seng replied that the associations welcome any opportunity to have a rational discussion with anyone who has doubts about UEC’s official recognition.

“If there are any particular groups who don’t understand (the issue), we welcome the opportunity to engage with them to look at it rationally and discuss some of the details. ” He denied claims that the UEC syllabus did not reflect a Malaysian context. “Such accusation is misleading and it is not true. The history curriculum is very much localised, the majority of it is talking about our local culture.” Meanwhile, he also stressed that BM is a compulsory subject in all Chinese independent secondary schools, and it is also “part of our national identity”. The UEC is a standardised test which has been administered by the Malaysian Independent Chinese Secondary Schools Working Committee (MICSS) since 1975, which in turn is represented by members of Dong Zong and Jiao Zong.