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What about the feelings of the Chinese, MCA asks Dr M

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MCA vice-president Tan Teik Cheng today asked if Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had considered the feelings of the Chinese community over the recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate.

Tan said this in response to Mahathir's interview with Sin Chew Daily, during which the prime minister said that it would be easy to recognise UEC, but that the feelings of Malays need to be taken into account.

"The people who supported him include Malays, Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups. 

"You (Mahathir) said UEC can be recognised just by signing your name, provided that the feelings of the Malays are taken care of.

"Then, shouldn't the feelings of the Chinese be considered as well?" he said in a statement today.

Expressing his disappointment in Mahathir's remarks, Tan also questioned the position of DAP leaders on the matter.

While in the opposition, DAP had constantly lambasted MCA and BN on the recognition of UEC.

"(DAP secretary-general) Lim Guan Eng, if you are still Chinese, and still keep to your promise, the Chinese community is waiting for an explanation from you. 

"Please don’t stay mum," Tan said.

In the Sin Chew interview, Mahathir said that it would take time to bring the ethnic groups in the country together. 

“When the Malays agreed to independence, they also agreed to let non-Malays obtain Malaysian citizenship. 

"In giving citizenship to more people, they believed that it would mean one language and one culture for the nation, as well as the same basic laws and mutual understanding," he said.

“But they found that not only the language is not well supported, there are still many people who will not speak Malay at all. But we still accept them. 

"How much more should we expect them to accept?" he asked.

'An election pledge'

Meanwhile, the United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia and the United Chinese School Teachers' Association of Malaysia (Dong Jiao Zong) said that UEC recognition is an education issue, and should therefore be approached from an education perspective. 

"Dong Jiao Zong would also like to remind that the recognition of the UEC was an election pledge by Pakatan Harapan," the association said.

Dong Jia Zong also noted that the Education Ministry established a committee last year to facilitate the process of recognising the UEC.

"Therefore, no quarter should manipulate the issue into a political or racial one," it added.

The UEC is a qualification paper received by students graduating from Chinese independent schools.

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