Inisiatif Pengislahan Pendidikan Negara (IPPN) is deeply concerned over media statements by PERKASA over the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC). These statements, which were allegedly made by its President Datuk Ibrahim Ali during the conclusion of a roundtable session organised by PERKASA on 1st April, 2017, include inter-alia meant that any recognition of UEC by the government is divisive, a threat to national unity and unconstitutional. He also seemed to have suggested that he may pursue legal recourse to challenge the constitutionality of any government approval for UEC.
IPPN, a coalition of multi-ethnic civil society groups founded on a strong conviction to build a progressive and inclusive Malaysian society, is deeply disappointed with the PERKASA’s rhetoric that lacks wisdom and basic understanding of the intrinsic values of UEC. Malaysia is in a globalized era with constant competition in every field. Malaysia’s strength is in our multilingual and multicultural diversity that we have enjoyed and progressed since our independence. In this context, IPPN views education must be holistic with a Malaysian perspective. It ought to inculcate civic virtue to build a compassionate and responsible society, with the ideals of freedom, justice, equity and human dignity.
IPPN is committed towards a national education system that shall cultivate schools of all streams. It strongly believes that the promotion of unity through diversity is the key to harness the richness of multilingualism and multiculturalism to face the diverse and global society.
The UEC system has been in existence since 1975. This examination is for the students who study in the Independent Chinese Secondary School (ICSS). The curriculum content is in full compliance with the Malaysian government standards and requirements. The national language Bahasa Malaysia is a compulsory subject. Besides sitting for UEC, many students of ICSS also sit for public examinations held by the government. There is no restriction for any student of other ethnic communities from enrolling in the ICSS. The national leaders had affirmed that ICSS is a unique national asset and praised ICSS for its contribution in developing our national talent.
More than half a million students have gone through the UEC since its inception. The UEC system is certified with ISO9001:2008 by Malaysia, China, England and Japan for its quality execution and management. The UEC certificate is widely recognized by many foreign universities including Nottingham, Monash, Xiamen; local private universities Taylors, Help, Sunway, UTAR; and overseas educational institutions Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and USA. Also more than 1000 education institutions have accepted UEC students’ enrolment directly to their tertiary studies, as UEC has gained global acceptance comparable with STPM and A-Level certifications.
(please see link for domestic and overseas institutions accepting UEC link: http://www.dongzong.my/student/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=95&Itemid=196 )
Essentially UEC as a Malaysian product has proven its potential value globally. It has become a proud icon of Malaysia in global education.
It is rather disappointing to note that PERKASA is of the view that UEC is divisive, a threat to our national education system and a threat to national unity. Rather than building upon the success story of UEC, PERKASA has chosen a regressive approach to belittle the wisdom and vision for a progressive and inclusive Malaysia. The outdated and outmoded PERKASA’a views, at best are cries of desperate individuals with ill-conceived notion to derail the hard earned progress made by Malaysia as multicultural multilingual society. Lending an ear to them will make Malaysia a laughingstock of the world.
IPPN Executive Council
Inisaitif Pengislahan Pendidikan Negara (IPPN) is an education coalition comprised of various organisations of different background and culture. In its Charter, IPPN states that Malaysia is a multiethnic, multicultural and multilingual country. Recognizing that differences enrich rather than diminish; educational legislations, policies and reforms must be premised upon the pluralistic nature of our country. Its Charter also states that Bahasa Malaysia as the national language of our country shall be a compulsory subject in all streams and types of schools. However, it also states that Mother tongue education is a right for all ethnic groups. It shall be given equal and equitable access as a medium of instruction for effective learning, especially in the early years. Not to ignore the fact that English is an important language, the Charter also stated that English is one of the most extensively used language internationally. Concerted efforts are necessary to raise the standard of English in schools to enable our students to acquire knowledge and play effective role globally.
List of IPPN Member Organisations:
- Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
- Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (IKRAM)
- Gabungan Persatuan Guru-Guru Sekolah Cina Malaysia (Jiao Zong)
- LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG)
- Tamil Foundation
- Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)
- The Association Of Graduate From Universities and Colleges of China, Malaysia (Liu Hua )
- Japan Graduates’ Association of Malaysia (JAGAM)
- Merdeka University Bhd
- Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies
- MySkill Foundation
- United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)