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.

HINDRAF & HRP meets NRD on Indians no BC & IC

Perak won't acquire Indian heritage land

By G Vinod - Free Malaysia Today

IPOH: A piece of heritage land in Sitiawan was on the radar screen of the Perak government for quite sometime. Last month, the state acted and gazetted it with the intention of acquiring the 2.2-hectare plot.

But the move came in for a lot of flak from the Indian community, especially from its Dindings Indian Association (DIA) and the DAP. The land belongs to the association.

Then on Tuesday, the state government made an abrupt about-turn: Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir announced that the state will not acquire the land.

Since land is a state matter, the federal government yesterday said it too would not acquire the land if the menteri besar felt the acquisition could not be done.

Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran was delighted when he heard the announcement. He was at the forefront of the opposition against the acquisition. However, he is not letting down his guard.

“I want to get an official notice of the withdrawal,” he said.

Kulasegaran is well-versed in the history of the land. The piece of land had been collectively bought with contributions from pioneer Indian rubber tappers from the 35 estates in and around Sitiawan in the 1930s.

“My grandparents too contributed,” said Kulasegaran.

'Insensitive and unjust'

The problem arose when the state government last month proposed to gazette and acquire the land for the Education Ministry to redevelop  Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Simpang Empat located on the land.

The move was vehemently opposed by the DIA and Kulasegaran, who claimed the land is an Indian heritage land.

“We don't mind if the Education Ministry wants to redevelop the school, but we are against the state acquiring the whole land just for that purpose,” said the DAP vice-chairman.

The DAP veteran said the move to acquire the land was insensitive and unjust as the plot was bought by the Indian rubber tappers during the colonial days.

“They parted two Straits Settlement dollars from the 12 Straits Settlement dollars they earned monthly,” said Kulasegaran.

He said the Simpang Empat English School (as it was then known) was built on the land to educate the estate children.

He also questioned the state government's motive in acquiring the plot, saying that there are other lands available nearby.

“Just half a kilometre away from the DIA's land, there is an oil palm estate known as Sg Wangi Estate belonging to Sime Darby.

“Fifteen years ago, the Defence Ministry acquired some 150ha out of the 2,500ha (of the oil palm estate) to build an airport. Why didn't the state government acquire some hectares there too if land was what it was seeking?”

A state matter

For Kulasegaran, the dispute has not ended. He said he will still attend the Sitiawan land office hearing on Aug 25 and get an official notice over the state's withdrawal.

“We will continue asking the public to attend the hearing. We will also continue distributing pamphlets on the acquisition move from house to house,” he added.

Meanwhile, Human Resources Minister S Subramaniam said the Cabinet decided yesterday that the federal government will not acquire the plot of land belonging to DIA.

The MIC vice-president said the decision was taken after he raised the matter at the Cabinet meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the Education Minister.

“Since land is a state matter, the Cabinet and the deputy prime minister decided that if the Perak menteri besar felt that it cannot be done (the acquisition), then we (the federal government) will not go ahead,” he said in a statement.

Subramaniam said the decision was taken to respect the sentimental values held by the Indian community towards the DIA and the land.

“It is a historical piece of land and close to the hearts of the Indian community. We decided to convey to the Perak menteri besar the decision of the Cabinet as land is a state matter, and only the state government can decide,” he said.

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

Sorry no cure for bigotry, says Samy

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: It is this very mentality that drove Indians to vote for the opposition in the last general election, said MIC president S Samy Vellu.

Therefore, the veteran politician suggested that those who play with the fire of racism, must have their fingers burnt.

He cautioned the Education Ministry against allowing a principal, who had allegedly uttered disparaging remarks against her Chinese and Indian students, to be let off with a slap on the wrist.

In a statement today, the MIC president urged the ministry to take serious and appropriate action against Siti Inshah Mansor if she was found guilty.

He said although the ministry appeared to have resolved the case, MIC wanted to ensure that the  principal was punished accordingly.

“The punishment must commensurate with the offence,” he said, adding that the alleged remarks had insulted and degraded the Indian and Chinese communities.

“Statements of this nature made before the March 2008 general election made the Indians feel hurt and alienated from the government. It caused Indians to drift away from Barisan Nasional.

“To say the least, these remarks are insulting and offensive to Indians and had created doubts in their minds and is against the true meaning of 1Malaysia,” he said, adding that an apology from the  principal would not be enough.

Siti Insah courted infamy when her Chinese and Indian students claimed that she had insulted them during a Mederka celebration at the secondary school, located in Kulai, Johor.

The principal had allegedly told the Chinese students to go back to China and likened Indian students to dogs.

Enraged parents subsequently filed a litany of police reports and Siti Insah, who is currently on leave, is being investigated under the Penal Code.

At the onset of the controversy, Samy Vellu had called for the principal to be charged with sedition for her “shameless and senseless” act.

CWC upholds Mugilan's sacking
In another development, the MIC central working committee (CWC) today upheld the sacking of former deputy Youth chief V Mugilan.

Since Mugilan failed to attend the hearing at the CWC meeting, his expulsion from the party was endorsed by the committee.

“The CWC decision is final,” said Samy Vellu.

On the fate of another sacked member G Kumar Aamaan, the president said the former CWC member had requested for another opportunity to be heard as he was unable to make it for today’s meeting.

“His (Kumar’s) case is still pending until further notice. He wants an opportunity to make his appeal to the CWC,” the MIC chief said.

Samy Vellu and his deputy G Palanivel did not attend the hearing of Mugilan and Kumar's cases this morning. The meeting was chaired by vice-president Dr S Subramaniam.

Mugilan and Kumar along with former CWC member, K P Samy and a MIC division leader, V Subramaniam or better known as Bharath Maniam, were expelled from the MIC early this year by the president for “working against the interest of the party”.

Last month, the CWC upheld the decision.

Mugilan's sacking had come hot on the heels of his statement urging Samy Vellu to step down with immediate effect while KP Samy and Kumar had openly backed the call.

The trio then went on to start the “Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu” (GAS) campaign, and have since accused the veteran president of numerous misdeeds.