KUCHING, Jan 3: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has defended Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s stand on the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) for independent Chinese schools, saying it did not mean Pakatan Harapan (PH) was backtracking on its promises.
“That statement to take into account the feelings of any race group does not mean we are backtracking on our promise to recognise UEC but rather it is the required step and part of the process for us to further educate all races and groups on the issue of UEC,” Dr Yii said in a statement today.
“It is not an issue of race but rather of education,” he added and urged the public to view in a positive light the prime minister’s statement that the recognition of UEC had to take into account the feelings of the Malays.
Dr Yii claimed he was initially concern by Dr Mahathir’s statement, but after looking through the transcript of the interview, he noted that Dr Mahathir never said PH would not recognise UEC. Instead, he reaffirmed PH’s commitment to recognising it several times.
“The problem that we inherited is that Umno and even PAS have been playing racial sentiments on almost every matter that the new government is trying to do,” Dr Yii argued.
He said the appointment of more non-Malays in the cabinet, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), and even the incident at the Indian Temple in Seafield were played up by the opposition, too.
“It clearly showed how the opposition is willing and not afraid to play up racial sentiments even at the expense of breaking up the country. That is why all decisions made have to take into consideration all these factors as the prospering of the whole country will require greater unity among all the people of all races,” he emphasised.
Dr Yii highlighted that PH made progress recently in terms of recognising UEC with the formation of a special committee that will put forward their report to the Cabinet this March.
“This was reaffirmed yesterday by Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching. This committee has gathered feedbacks from all racial groups, associations and organisations so that the implementation of UEC can be done effectively and reduce any misunderstanding on the matter,” he elaborated.
Dr Yii assured that the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and PH would not keep quiet, especially when matters of education were not fulfilled. — DayakDaily