Yesterday, the Education Minister Musa Mohamad announced that the Cabinet had reversed his ministry's decision made last June that barred private universities and colleges from recognising the Chinese Independent High School Unified Examination (UE) Certificate.
A day earlier, the Chinese education movement Dong Jiao Zhong had disclosed that the Education Ministry in June last year had issued a directive to government and private colleges on this ban as well as requiring them to insert in their recruitment advertisements to change a previous clause of "or similar qualifications" to "qualifications accepted by the Malaysian government".
It is unbelievable that the MCA leadership, which traditionally has a MCA Deputy Minister, is unaware of such a Education Ministry directive, which only goes to prove their impotence, as further illustrated by the recent controversy over the undemocratic and arbitrary ban of a Chinese New Year exhibition by the Universiti Technology Malaysia authorities.
There is no doubt that if not for the Sanggang by-election, there would not have been such a swift reaction by the Cabinet on this issue. UMNO leaders are so worried about the outcome of the Sanggang by-election that for the first time in UMNO history, the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is personally leading the by-election campaign - making almost daily visits to the constituency and at times camping in Sanggang.
However, the United Examination Certificate issue has not been fully resolved. Barisan Nasional leaders are prepared to praise sky-high Chinese primary schools and Chinese independent secondary schools just to woo Chinese votes, but the government has never been prepared to change its policy to fully integrate Chinese education into the mainstream of national education policy.
Let the Barisan Nasional government demonstrate its sincerity
on mother-tongue education policy by announcing before Sanggang polling
on Saturday the following: