I write to acknowledge my sincere appreciation to the good foresight leaders, that is both Chinese educationist Dr Kua Kia Soong and Dr Shafie Salleh for taking the brave and bold decisions to enable lots of Malaysian children to take alternative route to pursue their education in view of foreseeable importance of Mandarin in the near future.
Their bold and brave actions have received overwhelming supports from many Malaysians from all strata of Society. Many had even supported the clause with generous donations. This well illustrates the point that success is obtained by being focus and taking positive actions which may involve lots of sacrifices, hard work and commitment.
Below are the extracts from Wikipedia on Unified Examination Certificate and of the above two great foresight leaders for your reading pleasure.
Unified Examination Certificate (UEC)
The Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) is a standardized test for Chinese independent high school students organized by the UCSCAM since 1975. The UEC is available in three levels: Junior Middle (UEC-JML), Vocational (UEC-V), and Senior Middle (UEC-SML). Examinations for non-language subjects in the UEC-JML (except in Sabah) and UEC-V are in Chinese. In Sabah, UEC-JML science and mathematics are available in Chinese and English. The UEC-SML has examinations for mathematics, sciences (biology, chemistry and physics), book keeping, accounting, and commerce available in Chinese and English, while other non-language subjects are only available in Chinese.
The UEC-SML is recognized as a qualification for entrance into many tertiary educational institutions around the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Australia, Canada and many others. It is not recognized by the government of Malaysia for entry into public universities, but most private colleges recognize it.
Because the UEC is not recognized by the Malaysian government, some Chinese independent high schools opt to teach the national secondary school curriculum (in Malay) alongside the independent school curriculum (in Chinese) and require students to sit for the government standardized tests (PMR, SPM or even STPM) as private school candidates, providing the students an opportunity to obtain government-recognized certificates.
Chinese educationalist Dr Kua Kia Soong mentions the introduction of the UEC in his book Protean Saga: The Chinese Schools of Malaysia. According to the book, the introduction of the UEC led to Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the then Minister of Education and later the Prime Minister of Malaysia, summoning the Chinese educationalists to parliament. To quote the book, "The latter (Mahathir) did not mince his words but told the Dong Jiao Zong leaders that UEC had better not be held or else ... He did not ask for any response and dismissed the Chinese educationalists with a curt ... 'that is all'."
In May 2004 the National Accreditation Board (LAN) required students entering local private colleges using any qualification other than the SPM to pass the SPM Malay paper. This drew protests and then the Minister of Higher Education Dr Shafie Salleh exempted UEC students from this requirement.