EDUCATION NEWS

SPM-level BM requirement for medical graduates waived, MOH confirms

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The Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)-level Bahasa Melayu (BM) requirement for the appointment of medical graduates for contract-based housemanship as well as compulsory service has been waived, the country’s Ministry of Health confirmed.

Medical graduates contracted as UD41 medical officers will undergo graduate training for two years followed by two years of compulsory service.

The relaxing of the requirement is aimed to facilitate medical graduates who have not sat for the examination for various reasons. Health director-general Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said this included medical graduates who had undergone overseas education, those who sat for O-level examination at an international school, or took the BM subject at university.

According to the ministry, the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate also said that the graduates could sit for the SPM BM paper alone through special approval from the director of the syndicate.

This, however, was not what the affected graduates were told when they went to register for the paper, as some were told that they had to sit for six SPM core subjects: BM, History, Science, Maths, English and Moral studies.

The ministry said it had asked the Public Service Department (PSD) to waive the SPM-level BM pass requirement for the contract staff and in February, the PSD had agreed to the request.

“However, the requirement (for an SPM-level BM certificate) must be fulfilled prior to their permanent appointments in the public service,” it said on the issue of O-Level medical graduates who claimed that they could no longer get permanent public posts with the Malaysian Qualifica­tions Agency’s Bahasa Kebangsaan A qualification.

One of the entry requirements for medical graduates to be appointed to public service is an SPM or equivalent pass in BM. Article 152 of the Federal Constitution and National Language Acts 1963/67 also required that Bahasa Melayu, as the national language, be used for all official purposes, the ministry said.

“Currently, Bahasa  Melayu at ‘O’ or ‘A’ level or any other similar examinations are not considered equivalent to SPM by PSD.

“However, due to complaints from medical graduates regarding the changes in government policy (the appointment of new medical officers from a permanent to a contractual basis), discussions were held to resolve this issue,” the ministry said.


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