Friday, August 20, 2010

Another 'racist' principal in Kedah

(Malaysiakini) Just barely a week after accusations of a secondary school principal in Johor hurling racial slurs, another is being denounced for having uttered similar derogatory remarks - this time in Kedah.

Several Chinese vernacular newspapers gave prominence this morning to the report of a Sungai Petani secondary school principal accusing non-Muslim students of "disrespecting" the fasting month of Ramadan.

chinese school inconvenience 190104 canteenAccording to the report the school cafeteria had closed for the fasting month, and non-Muslim students were left to their own devices to find food.
But the sight of a group of them having breakfast at the canteen - a common area - had apparently raised the principal's ire.

Later, at the school assembly, the principal was alleged to have said that the Chinese student -comprising 10 percent of the student population of 780 - had been disrespectful and that "they should go back to China".

It was claimed that when the assembly was over, another teacher had approached the Chinese students to say sarcastically that they should take an AirAsia flight, since the fares are cheap now.

Brickbats from BN politicians

The whole affair had several Barisan Nasional leaders up in arms.

wee ka siong interview 220310 04MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong (right) - also the deputy education minister - said that it is unbecoming and wrong for the school headmaster to make such a remark and that he will leave it to the education director-general Alimuddin Mohd Dom to resolve the matter.

"The DG should remind principals to be racially-sensitive. No more such incidents!" he exclaimed in his public Twitter account.

However, he also agreed that non-Muslim students in secondary schools should be sensitive during Ramadan and that they should respect their fasting Muslim schoolmates.

"Regarding the place to eat for non-Muslims, the school principal should make proper arrangements to prevent any misunderstanding," he said.

Head must face disciplinary action

In the meantime, Kedah Gerakan had called for the principal's head, urging the government to take "stern action" against him.

"If it is true that the principal had made the racist utterances, then the person should face disciplinary action," said state chief Cheah Soon Hai in a statement.

He said the government should be strict as schools are places for learning and such degrading and disparaging words from a principal should not be condoned at all.

Cheah - also Derga state assemblyperson - said the people should know from history that Malaysia gained independence because of the genuine efforts of all races.

"While acknowledging the fact that non-Muslim should be more sensitive towards Muslims uring fasting time, the principal's statement has clearly gone overboard. Making statements such as passengers (penumpang) of the country are totally unwarranted," he added.

'Racist' worms creep out of woodwork

Just earlier this week, the nation was shocked after a police report was lodged against the principal of a secondary school in Kulai for allegedly asking the "Chinese students to go back to China", and likening the Hindu prayer bracelet to a dog leash.

In a speech during the launch of the school's National Day celebration, she had also "reminded" the non-Malay students of their place in the country.

She had also allegedly given the example of owning a Proton Saga and then letting 'Munusamy' and 'Chong' in as passengers.

"Munusamy and Chong are only passengers. They cannot claim any right to the car. This is the same as Malaysia in which the non-Malay students are passengers," alleged a 16-year-old student in his police report on what she had said.