By LIM HOCK SONG and GAYLE JOKININ
COMMENT: The Community Empowerment Initiative Sabah (CEI Sabah) congratulates our Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie bin Haji Apdal on his announcement Saturday night of the government’s decision to recognise UEC in Sabah.
As a UEC graduate (Tshung Tsin) myself, I personally like to thank our CM for his brave and very wise decision in leading the state government to recognize UEC in Sabah. This is yet another historical moment in the right direction.
Personally I am very touched that finally, after so many decades, Sabah government has taken the lead in Malaysia, and joined the rest of the World to recognize UEC.
This is so much more than just a policy change, as it has sent a very strong and clear message that our beloved motherland has finally and officially recognized and welcomed those hundreds of thousands very patriotic Malaysian UEC certificate holders, to even more actively participate in our nation building, which many have already been doing so for so many decades, but now they can finally feel appreciated, accepted and welcomed.
This very wise move will definitely help to further unite all Malaysians. It will also help to encourage even more Sabahan talents to stay back or even return to Sabah to serve their beloved motherland.
There is no other nation in the World that has such rich and diverse culture (customs, languages, religions etc.) as ours. Our very rich diversity is our collective strength, and that’s how we will prosper together and show the rest of the World how a truly diverse, united and modern society should looks like’, said Lim Hock Song.
There are altogether 9 Chinese independent schools in Sabah, and out of which 2 are in KK, with a total students of about 6,500 across the state.
Sabah Chinese Independent Schools are very unique because it adopted the trilingual policy since more than 30 years ago, which means all students are expected to master BM, Chinese and English at the same time. Most students are encouraged or required to sit for BOTH SPM (in form 5) and UEC (in form 6).
Such unique and very pragmatic education policy has attracted quite a number of non-Chinese students and even international students to study in Chinese independent schools, because their parents think it is a huge advantage for their kids to master all these three important languages at the same time.
Over the years Chinese Independent Schools have trained hundred of thousands very capable and very patriotic Malaysian, many of them are contributing to our nation building in every fields imaginable.
[Gayle Jokinin]: As a Kadazan, I am very excited to hear about this news. This is a step further towards developing a deeper level of multicultural education in Sabah. UEC certificate is today already accepted around the World by hundreds of Universities as equivalent to A-level (or between O level and A-level).
There is no reason for us to ignore the quality of UEC. Students with a good result in UEC certificate can be admitted directly into many international and very well known Universities. However for historical reason UEC is today still not being recognized by Federal government hence all UEC certificate holders are unable to enter into local public Universities (although local private Universities mostly accept UEC), or serve in government sectors. It is high time that UEC graduates be recognised in Sabah.
We hope the Pakatan led Federal Government will also follow suit in recognising UEC.
CEI Sabah congratulates and say a big thank you to our Chief Minister!
* Lim Hock Song and Gayle Jokinin are CEI Board Members