PETALING JAYA, Apr 2 (Sin Chew Daily) -- After a lapse of 21 years, Wong Yong Geng, 39, finally sits for the Chinese paper in SPM this year.
He decided to study at home and sit for the paper to make up for not taking the subject when he sat for SPM back in 1999.
"I was studying at a national secondary school where Chinese class was held during Saturdays for two hours. I did not sign up for the paper," he said.
Wong's SPM results were among the top five in school. With his outstanding results, Wong was admitted to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia to study mathematics.
Chinese language is an elective paper in SPM, but Wong feels incomplete skipping the paper.
He signed up to sit for the Chinese language paper when he was studying in UTM.
He paid RM32 for the examination fee and borrowed books from classmates to study on his own.
But the exam date clashed with university exam.
He had no choice but to skip the SPM Chinese paper. He did not think of sitting for the paper again for the rest of the years in university.
After completing his Master's, Wong signed up for SPM Chinese paper again in 2007.
He took leave to sit for the exam but was told the company had arranged for him to attend an important class.
"Since work was more important, I missed the SPM Chinese paper again," said Wong.
It was reported that the number of students sitting for SPM Chinese paper was declining over the years. However, the passing rate for the paper has improved.
A total of 51,641 students sat for SPM Chinese paper in 2019, increased to 52,754 in 2018. The passing rate of Chinese paper was 96.6% in 2019, up from 96.3% in 2018.
Wong signed up for the Chinese paper for the third time last year. The lockdown measures imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus deferred the SPM exam until Feb this year.
Wong took unpaid leave and finally managed to sit for the paper on March 15 as the oldest candidate.
"I am fulfilling my dream of 21 years. I have not been writing Chinese words for many years and it can be quite tiring," said Wong, who described the entire episode as a good experience.
He had no problem writing essays but struggled on the classical Chinese section.
"I do not encourage others to sit for the paper at my age. They should be sitting for the paper much younger," he said.
Wong's job did not require him to sit for SPM Chinese paper, but he did it to fulfill a legacy.
Watch the video: Wong's job did not require him to sit for SPM Chinese language. But he did it to fulfil a legacy.