Now to write the uncomfortable truth.
Chinese education and the UEC it brings is bad for the country.
It has always been a no-brainer.
The UEC issue is not about certification as much as it is about the viability of a separate but equal system.
As it stands, Chinese vernacular schools prevent millions of Malaysians from the best opportunities to integrate. This is not to assert the products from these schools refuse to integrate, but to posit fairly that the students from those schools are disadvantaged when it comes to engaging non-Chinese persons in general.
This obviously is time for my opponents to point out to the overly proficient Malay speaker who comes from not just a Chinese primary school, but also Chinese independent secondary till the UEC, and a degree from Taiwan. Yes, yes, there are the exceptions, but surely, arguing through exceptions is an intellectually disingenuous method regardless of the language used.
There is no question that Chinese schools have produced excellent students and probably will do great at local universities using their UEC qualifications.
This is not about that.
This is about a national education system, and whether we are spending or recognising qualifications which work against our common interest as a country. One country, one people.
And to critics who point to international schools, private schools and home schools, be mindful, none of them are getting tax-payers’ money.
Multiculturalism is wonderful, but not at the price of ignoring national identity.
I get sick of hearing people telling me how the UEC is recognised in thousands of universities abroad, and those top 100 universities in Asia — like in Singapore — have no issues to accept the UEC.
Firstly, that’s wonderful for the student/candidate.
But secondly, thirdly and fourthly, those foreign universities have no consideration or care about Malaysian unity or even public schools.
They want talent, and they’d grab your wee children from their bed if that means filling their enrolment with academic overachievers. No different from European clubs bypassing the law to bring prepubescent South American and African footballers, so that they have the next Messi or Neymar.
They are netting the talent. They are not the least bit interested in the national football federations of these countries.
The Malaysian government has to care about the long term durability of the nation and the sense of oneness the people must have.
Language is paramount for the sustainability of countries.
The credit for BM as a caveat is hardly a means to protect language proficiency.
Just like how the Chinese educationists argue over and over that there is a need for particular culture, space and duration to ensure a proper Chinese educated student, it takes more than a credit in BM to be a person imbued in Malay culture and think. Duration and space have a lot to do with it.
If the ethnic Chinese people in South East Asia were ranked based on their general proficiency, grasp and use as their ideas language their national language, the ethnic Chinese in Malaysia would finish last. That’s not hearsay, that’s bona fide fact.
The ethnic Chinese Indonesians use Bahasa Indonesia as their first language, so do the Filipinos and Vietnamese. And when we are done scouring the region, we’d come back to Malaysia, and the home truth hits hardest. Chinese schools get in the way of all Malaysians speaking Malay at the same comfort levels.
One environmental policy expert with a PHD did not know what Wings and Search are, she’d be less surprised if I join them as a word ” SearchWings” and claim them as a new airline in Mogadishu. She is a wonderful human person, but her years in Chinese schools barred her from important Malaysian experiences.
The UEC graduate is no different from the exclusive Malay only boarding school kid, always proud to point to their friends of other ethnic groups, as if it is an achievement. It is not an achievement to have a friend of another race in this country, it really is not. It is a bloody shame if you do not, however.
Our public schools, are our means to build a nation, and a standard education. One nation, one school system.