By THOMAS G MUMPIN
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Democratic Action Party (DAP) Secretary Chan Foong Hin Sunday slammed Parti Gerakan Malaysia president Dominic Lau Chai Hoe for attacking and questioning Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie Apdal, and former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on UEC recognition in Sabah.
Chan, who is also Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu, said that Gerakan is the least entitled to make any remarks, complaints or additional demands regarding the recognition of UEC (United Examination Certificate) in Sabah as announced by Shafie recently.
“While ruling the country for so many decades in the Barisan Nasional governments, Gerakan had unquestionably failed in their push for UEC recognition by the governments then and had remained absolutely silent,” said Chan in a statement.
Dominic in his statement, claimed that the governments of Penang and Sabah had lied to the people that the UEC certificate is recognized in their states.
“He has shown his utter ignorance or plain absence of knowledge to the Malaysian administrative system in which there is a separation of functions between the federal government and state governments in accordance to the Federal Constitution of Malaysia,” said Chan.
“As an example of UEC recognition, the Penang government that had recognized the UEC certificate since many years ago had appointed UEC graduate Thng Shiew Shyuan as the General Manager of Penang Green Council Sdn Bhd, a government linked company under the state government of Penang,” said Chan.
“In Sabah, the Chief Minister has made it clear that as long as the UEC graduates have PT3 and SPM certificates, have a credit in Bahasa Malaysia and History in SPM, and meet MUET requirements, the candidate can be accepted into higher education institutions under the Sabah government.
“As for entry into Sabah state civil service, as long as JPAN requirements are met, UEC graduates will be accepted accordingly,” Chan added.
“As far as Shafie’s stance on education and civil service is concerned, I believe that it is clear from the beginning, that these powers should be returned to Sabah in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) in which autonomy is promised to Sabah regarding these two matters,” said Chan.
Chan said rather than questioning the Sabah Chief Minister’s announcement on recognizing UEC in Sabah, GERAKAN ought to have fully support the same when it was first made.
“However, it seems that GERAKAN is more keen on playing politics by such questioning and this shows that the party had never cared about the real issue at hand: Sabah’s autonomy,” Chan added.
“Sabah DAP welcomes the announcement by the Sabah Chief Minister on the recognition of UEC certificate in Sabah and we believe that many Sabahans, not only the Chinese but also many Bumiputera students who had taken or will be taking UEC exams, will benefit from this wonderful decision.”