Friday, August 20, 2010

BN Youth wants ‘racist’ school principal punished

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 – The Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth today demanded the government punish Johor school principal Siti Inshah Mansor if allegations that she made racist remarks were proven true.

Their call came after angry parents lodged 17 police reports against the SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra principal, whose remarks the Education Director-General Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom dismissed as a mere misunderstanding which has been resolved. But the parents now say it has not been resolved and described Alimuddin’s statement as a “cover-up”.

“BN Youth calls for the government not to take this matter lightly,” said its chief Khairy Jamaluddin in a statement today.

“If it is true that it happened, she should be charged with a severe punishment under Section 504 of the Penal Code or the like as our multi-racial country cannot accept this at all,” added Khairy, who is also the Umno Youth chief.

The police are currently investigating the case under section 504 of the Penal Code for provocation which carries a maximum imprisonment of two years, a fine or both.

Siti Inshah allegedly likened Indian students wearing prayer threads to dogs and ordered dissatisfied ethnic Chinese and Indian students to “return to China or India”.

The principal reportedly made the derogatory remarks during the launch of the school’s Merdeka celebrations last Thursday.

“Did she (Siti Inshah) not consider the students’ feelings, especially the Chinese and Indians, by making comments that appear to insult and chase them out of the country while they were singing “Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku?” asked the Rembau MP.

BN Youth’s censure against the school principal joins a chorus of condemnation against Siti Inshah since MIC central working committee member S. Murugessan has called on the government to mete out the “heaviest punishment” while DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang has demanded for her dismissal.

“Her remarks… are very disgusting and shows her ignorance in citizenship issues and religious rituals in this country. If it is true that it happened, then a severe punishment must be meted out as a lesson and a strong signal that any actions which are not in line with the 1 Malaysia concept, which fosters national unity, must be handled and acted upon accordingly,” said Khairy.

He pointed out that this incident which involved a school head, coupled with another earlier incident which involved the prime minister’s special officer, showed that racial tension was a growing systemic problem in the country.

Datuk Nasir Safar, the prime minister’s former special officer, allegedly said in February this year at a 1 Malaysia event that the “Indians came to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese, especially women, came to sell their bodies”.

He was later asked to resign as the prime minister’s aide and no further action was taken against him. In Parliament, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said that this was because it was difficult to prove if Nasir’s words had any tendency to be seditious.

Another civil servant accused of making racial slurs was a schoolteacher who purportedly made racist remarks but was let off with just a transfer.

Schoolteacher Rusita Abu Hassan who taught in SMK Telok Panglima Garang in Banting had in 2008 allegedly used derogatory remarks on a certain ethnic group in order to “test their level of patience”.

She was later transferred from the school but the punishment was viewed as more of a promotion for she was given a post in a smart school located near to her home.

Parents claimed that Siti Inshah has also made racist remarks in her previous school SMK Kelapa Sawit, where she called Indians Nigerians.

Another student alleged that Siti Inshah gave an example of owning a Proton Saga where a Chinese and Indian are passengers in the car and cannot claim any right to the car, likening it to Malaysia where non-Malay students are mere passengers. - The Malaysian Insider