I am very confused. Yesterday Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong as reported in The Star said that the Ministry will not want to undermine the police investigation and that “In a day or two, the Education Ministry director-general will make a decision on the future of the principal based on the outcome of the investigation,”. Yet on the same day, Education director-general Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom’s response was that the case was just a misunderstanding and the problem has been solved between the principal and students and indicated that the principal would not even be transferred as punishment.. Well isn’t this another classic example of our government’s bureaucracy of which the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing ?
This is Malaysia – such cases is common. At the end of day, one of the party will come out and said he is being misquoted or misunderstood by the press causing such a confusion !
What has our Education Minister Muhyiddin said about this case ? NOTHING ! He was absolutely quiet ; perhaps he does not want to be drawn into it as it involves a racialist comment from a fellow Malay and it’d be wise to leave the cleaning up to his Deputy Wee KS ? He did not even reprimand his Ministry DG over his comments that it was just a misunderstanding !
The parents had erupted over this ” misunderstanding” explanation, saying the ministry/government was trying to “cover up” the case. These were some of their comments :
– “It wasn’t a misunderstanding. Even the teachers have given their statement to the police. The teachers confirmed what has been reported by the students,”
– “If it was, then why did the state Education Department tell her to make an open apology to the non-Malay students and teachers?”
– “Some disciplinary action must be taken. Even if not dismissal, at least demote her. If just transfer her out, it won’t solve the problem.
– “She has done in before. In her previous school, she called Indians Nigerians,”
What did the Kulai school ( SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra ) principal Siti Inshah say that it had prompted 17 police reports lodge against her by the parents ? This is based on the various news reports I have gathered :
– She allegedly said Indian students wearing prayerstrings on their neck and wrist make them look like dogs, and only dogs would be tied this way
– She allegedly said Chinese students were “not needed” and should “return” to China or Sekolah Foon Yew (a private Chinese school in Johor)
– She gave the example of owning a Proton Saga with two passengers who are Munusamy and Chong. Munusamy and Chong were only passengers. They cannot claim any right to the car. This is the same as Malaysia in which the non-Malay students are passengers.
At least 17 reports have been made on the matter and 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.
In a press statement , DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said the “severest” disciplinary action must be taken against her for allegedly uttering the remarks. “What defies the imagination is that Siti Inshah could make such a derogatory, offensive, insensitive and racist statement at an occasion to launch the school’s National Day celebrations,” said Lim.
Lim Kit Siang has called for her to be sacked.
MCA president Chua Soi Lek calls for her to be transferred to a desk job and given counselling.
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin on micro-blogging site Twitter yesterday said to immediately take stern action against Siti Inshah. His tweets said “We cannot drag our feet or prevaricate on things like this. Blatant racism. By a school principal no less. And if proven that she said those things, she must be sacked & charged appropriately. She shouldn’t be allowed back pending the result of the investigation, which shouldn’t have to take long” .
MIC leader S. Murugessan called on the government to use the “heaviest punishment” on the principal, saying that he felt personally hurt and offended by the remarks.
Has any other SENIOR Umno leader come out to say anything about this ?? Our PM Najib is also silent. So is also Samy Vellu, President of MIC . What about the Malay based parties of PAS and PKR ?? What does all this indicate ? Racism is still and very alive in Malaysia. This incident will be quietly dismissed off and buried. At worst, the principal would be transferred out – losing her job, unlikely !
UPDATE 20 Aug : I recieved a tweet from The Nutgraph : PKR said the racist statement by the Kulai’s school principal is not an isolated incident. PKR and Pakatan Rayat is committed to a Race Relations act and that the principal be suspended pending investigations ? Finally on 19 Aug, Samy Vellu broke his silence and demand disciplinary action be taken against the principal. Probably under pressure, today Muhyiddin only order a probe into the principla’s remarks before deciding her fate. Well, it is better be late than never.