Sunday, September 5, 2010

'Racist' Kedah principal only 'temporarily suspended'

(Malaysikini) Differences in the handling of the two principals who allegedly made racist remarks to their non-Muslim students last month raises question marks on how such cases should be dealt with.

Siti Aishah Mansor, principal of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Kulai in Johor faces “punishment” should she be found guilty in a Public Service Department (JPA) investigation.
Her fate will depend on the outcome of the investigation paper that will be submitted to the disciplinary commission of the Prime Minister's Department after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Her counterpart in Kedah however retains his post despite rumours that he may be replaced.

Ungku Aznan Ungku Ismail, principal of SMK Bukit Selambau (SMKBS), Sungai Petani in Kedah, although “temporarily suspended”, has instead been reassigned to an office in the district education office at Kuala Muda/Yan, Sungai Petani, for a week.

A state education department source revealed that Ungku Aznan will have to stay away from the school for that period, but was unsure whether this arrangement was temporary.

It is speculated that the move was aimed at keeping the principal away from the press and politicians while his case is being investigated and to allow the situation at the school to cool down.

No sign of transfer

The principal of the boys' secondary school was earlier expected to be transferred by Sept 1 on the insistence of the local Chinese community, MCA and state Gerakan.

The source said that Ungku Aznan has since apologised to a group of his students during a special meeting at the school, a few days after the incident.

Ungku Aznan had caused a national outcry when, angered by the sight of Chinese students having breakfast at the school canteen during fasting period, had during the next morning assembly publicly called them “disrespectful” and suggested that "they should go back to China”.

The incident came barely a week after Siti Aishah allegedly made derogatory remarks against her Chinese and Indian students during a school function.

The Kulai principal, apparently speaking about discipline problems, had allegedly told the Chinese students they were "not needed" and should "return" to China, while she criticised the Indian students for wearing prayer bands around their wrists, allegedly saying that only dogs would do so.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who on Aug 27 spoke out for 'zero tolerance' for racism, has however remained circumspect on the issue.