Umno supreme council member Nazri Abdul Aziz has dismissed party information chief Annuar Musa’s claim that a maverick stance on the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) led to Annuar’s suspension as Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) chairperson.
Nazri said that he has consistently supported calls for Putrajaya to recognise UEC and he has not suffered politically from this.
“In cabinet, we practise free speech… Taiwan universities accept UEC and we recognise Taiwan universities. So what’s the problem?
“I expressed my opinion that I am for UEC. I am still here… If you claim you are victimised by the cabinet, that is not true lah… I am still a minister, strong as ever,” said Nazri, who is the tourism and culture minister, when contacted.
Nazri said this when asked to comment on Sin Chew Daily’s interview with Annuar, who claimed that he was a victim of a party feud and his support for UEC.
‘Who is victimising you?’
Annuar believed that this was the main reason for his suspension as Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) chairperson and not for his role in Universiti Kuala Lumpur’s (UniKL) sponsorship of Kelantan Red Warriors Football team.
Disputing this, Nazri said Annuar should name those who are victimising him.
“Please ask him: Who victimised him? I want to know,” said Nazri, who like Annuar, is a veteran Umno leader.
During the interview, Annuar stressed that the Chinese-medium schools were not unconstitutional but the major sore point for Putrajaya was UEC’s syllabus for Malay and History.
This matter is currently undergoing discussions between the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) and the Education Ministry, he said.
Regardless of the facts, Annuar said his stance on UEC was now being used against him by rivals within the party.
“There are those in the party who are uncomfortable with my views on government recognition for UEC, and other issues, including UniKL’s acceptance of UEC.
“Because of this, there are those who want to undermine me and ensure that I’m unable to survive politically,” Annuar said.
He claimed that 10 days prior to his suspension, he had received threats through a Umno WhatsApp group and “dirty” messages condemning him.
“Some people think I’m trying to undermine them. Some people think that I did not seek their views before making certain decisions. Some people think I’m trying to replace them,” Annuar said.
The UEC examination is governed by Dong Zong and is considered a British A-level equivalent.
It is the highest qualifications awarded by Chinese-medium private schools in Malaysia and is widely accepted by universities worldwide, but not by the Malaysian government.
In January, Rural Development and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, whose portfolio includes Mara affairs, disputed Annuar’s widely-publicised claim that UniKL recognised UEC.