PUTRAJAYA – Pakatan Harapan chairman cum former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it took the Barisan Nasional government so long to consider whether to recognize the United Examination Certificate (UEC) because they were worried about infuriating the rightists and losing the Malay votes.
Tun Mahathir told Sin Chew Daily at his office in Putrajaya, “Pakatan Rakyat lost in the 13th general elections because the Malays thought they were hypocrites.
“Now we want to win the Malay votes, and we can do it because we are a Malay party.
“We can talk to them!”
‘We do what people want’
On how Pakatan Harapan will support the Chinese language education in the country, including the construction of independent Chinese high schools and recognizing the UEC, Tun Mahathir said, “If the Chinese want the UEC to be recognized, then Pakatan Harapan will have to do it.
“Of course we hope more people will go to national schools, but they need to be improved first.”
Mahathir admitted that the education standard of Chinese schools and even private schools is generally higher than that of national schools.
He said Pakatan Harapan would have to convince the conservative Malays on the issue of recognizing UEC.
“I will tell them we didn’t have national certificates in the past. What we had were Cambridge certificates. We even accepted sekolah pondok
“After independence, we promoted the national language policy because we wanted people to speak in one common language.
“But in the end we are still very open. If people want us to do something, we’ll do it. If they don’t want, then we won’t.”