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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21, 2015:

MCA leaders have applauded the decision made by the Sarawak state government to provide education loans and scholarships to holders of Unified Certificate Examination (UEC).

They added that the forward-thinking state government had also allowed Sarawakians, who hold the UEC, to join the state government.

MCA Youth chief Senator Datuk Chong Sin Woon said this was a very positive move and it would help lessen the education burden on Sarawakians holding the UEC if they were to get either scholarships or loans from the state education foundation, Yayasan Sarawak.

“It is a great breakthrough for Chinese education. This recognition shows that Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem knows that every Sarawakian in his or her own way can contribute to the development of the state.”

UEC is the Chinese independent school qualification equivalent of STPM.

Sarawak’s only requirement is that UEC applicants must score at least a credit in Bahasa Malaysia in SPM. UEC holders who enter the state civil service would be placed under the Employees’ Provident Fund rather than the pension scheme.

The MCA vice-president said the new leadership of Dong Zong must also be thanked because they had been flexible enough to give in to certain demands.

He pointed out that the previous leadership of the Chinese education group had refused to give in to the fact that for UEC holders to apply for government jobs they must have a credit in SPM Bahasa Malaysia as the group had felt the UEC Bahasa Malaysia exam grade was good enough.

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian had said yesterday that Adenan had told them that since the federal government was so slow in making a decision, the state government will recognise UEC first.

He said applicants interested to join the civil service needed to have a credit in Bahasa Malaysia.

Sim said Unimas’ senate had agreed that a certain percentage of its intake will be allocated for UEC holders, adding that Unimas is the first public university to recognise UEC.

MCA Central Committee member Datuk Ti Lian Ker said the recognition of UEC was a timely positive development and that some leaders had recognised that race, religion and ethnicity had no part in modern Malaysia.

He said this was the first step as there were other issues that needed to be tackled and levelling the playing field would make it easier to achieve the idea of Bangsa Malaysia.

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