The Sarawak government's instruction for Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) has been derailed after the university said it must comply with the Putrajaya's order, according to The Borneo Post .
“Unimas, being a public university under the jurisdiction of the Higher Education Ministry, is obliged to follow directives from the ministry regarding the national education policy towards UEC and also the current admission requirements to public universities set by the ministry.
“It is with regret I have to inform that the Unimas senate could not admit candidates with UEC qualification for entry to Unimas,” Unimas vice-chancellor Mohammad Kadim Suadi was quoted as saying.
UEC is taken by Chinese independent school students in their final year, similar to the Malaysian Education Certificate (SPM) taken by students in the final year of secondary school.
The refusal of public universities in recognising UEC for its admission meant that many of these students further their studies in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.
On Wednesday, Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem ( photo ) lashed out at Putrajaya, calling the federal government 'stupid' for refusing to recognise UEC.
“Other countries, their universities, and our own private universities, all recognise UEC.
“But our public universities do not recognise UEC. What a waste! Because they (certificate holders) will be pinched by other countries.
“We are losing talents. I don’t care what the federal government does, I recognise UEC,” Adenan had said.
Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali had in the state's budget speech also announced that Universiti Selangor, which is owned by the state government, will recognise UEC beginning next year.
This, he said, was to stem the brain drain.