Abang Johari (centre) takes part in the yee sang ceremony with other dignitaries. At his immediate left is Richard Wee. Photo: Aini Selikang

KUCHING: It is simply daft to not recognise the Unified Examinations Certificate (UEC), said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He pledged that Sarawak would continue to recognise UEC which was first officially acknowledged by his predecessor Pehin Sri Adenan Satem.

Five years ago, Adenan stuck to his guns on UEC giving its holders the long-awaited nod that enables them to apply to join the state’s civil service along with giving Yayasan Sarawak the go ahead to provide education loans or scholarships to UEC holders.

“It is plain stupid not to recognise UEC. We have many people holding the certificates. What Adenan started, I continue so that our children can study at a higher level.

“We will be the losers if we don’t recognise it as it is recognised by credible universities such as the National University of Singapore, Tsinghua University in China. Some American universities also recognise UEC,” he said during a state-level Chinese New Year celebration in Sarikei yesterday.

Abang Johari stressed that with education a prime concern for the Chinese, the state government would continue to aid their schools.

“We will continue to help independent Chinese schools. This year we will give them RM9 million, up by RM1 million compared to the aid for 2019.

“Because education is close to our hearts … we will also develop five international schools, the fees of which will be subsidised by the state government.

“This is so that regular folk can send their children to the schools. Such schools will no longer by exclusive to the rich,” he said.

To a request from Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations (SFCA) president Datuk Richard Wee, Abang Johari pledged that the state government would help with the construction of the association’s permanent office here.

He also noted a suggestion by Wee for the latest update on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) negotiations in Putrajaya to be revealed to Sarawakians as the issue of protecting state rights is close to the hearts of the Chinese.

Abang Johari (centre) takes part in the yee sang ceremony with other dignitaries. At his immediate left is Richard Wee. Photo: Aini Selikang