Earlier today, 29 January, the Democratic Action Party (DAP) threatened to quit the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition government if the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) is not recognised
The threat to quit the ruling coalition came from DAP deputy secretary-general Nga Kor Ming.
"We reached a consensus that DAP will withdraw from the government if UEC is not recognised. It doesn't matter if we are no longer part of the ruling government. This is the principle we will uphold," Nga told Chinese paper Oriental Daily in an interview that was uploaded on the paper's Facebook page.
The recognition of UEC was one of the promises made by the PH coalition in its election manifesto prior to the 2018 general election
Then-Barisan Nasional coalition government had also included the promise to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate in its election manifesto for the 2018 general election.
Recognition of UEC, a standardised test for Chinese independent high school students, would allow certificate holders to apply for entry into all local colleges and use it when applying for local jobs.
However, the election promise still remains unfulfilled despite the coalition being in power for 20 months.
DAP is one of the four component parties of the PH government.
The multi-racial party, which was previously in the opposition for over 50 years, currently has 42 Member of Parliaments (MPs) in the Dewan Rakyat.
It is only behind Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), which has 50 MPs in the lower house.
According to Malaysiakini, the government's failure so far to recognise UEC for Chinese schools has led to DAP being at the receiving end of criticism from the Chinese community and other parties.
In the Oriental Daily interview, while Nga acknowledged the criticism of this party on issues after coming to power, he also lamented that DAP and its Harapan allies were not praised for their accomplishments
"DAP is not silent after it becoming part of the government. (In fact) we are braver to speak out, now that we have the government channel and this can be seen in the cabinet meetings," he said.
"We might have completed 70% of our tasks, but the people only see the incomplete 30%. 70% of the completed jobs did not receive recognition," the DAP deputy secretary-general expressed.
While addressing the comments from netizens, Nga said that he hopes that "the commentators and netizens are kind" to the party when commenting.
"You can comment, but (you need to) compare apples with apples.
"Compare things that weren't here in the past 60 years (during) BN's rule and what we have now. Don't you want to recognise and praise (us)?" he added.
A final report prepared by a task force on recognition of UEC was to be submitted to the Education Minister on 6 January this year
However, before the scheduled date, Dr Maszlee Malik was asked to step down as the Education Minister. On 2 January, Dr Maszlee announced his resignation during a special press conference.
It was Dr Maszlee who had set up the task force in October 2018.
At first, the report was scheduled to be submitted in July 2019. The submission date was then postponed to 20 September last year. However, on the date, Dr Maszlee was on sick leave.
Now, theSundaily reports that the final report will likely be submitted to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his additional capacity as acting Education Minister.
"We have contacted the Education Minister's office and are awaiting his instructions," Eddin Khoo, the chairman of the task force, was quoted as saying by theSundaily on 23 January.
Prior to this, Dr Mahathir had said that the government has not yet made any decision on the calls to recognise UEC
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was made interim Education Minister on 3 January. However, the announcement was only made on 10 January.
"I have not decided on many things. I have only become the acting Education Minister for a short while," Dr Mahathir said while adding that he is still in the process of studying the matter about UEC.