Friday, June 26, 2015

SK Ibrahim issue: If Mary Yap lacks the courage to criticize the school, she should at least shut up



Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 26th, June 26, 2015

SK Ibrahim issue: If Mary Yap lacks the courage to criticize the school, she should at least shut up

Deputy Education Minister II P. Kamalanathan was quoted to say that the Education Ministry will wait for the police to complete their investigations before taking action against a teacher of Sekolah Kebangsaan Ibrahim, Sungai Petani, who had allegedly asked non-Muslim students to drink their urine.

“Action needs to be taken to show the Education Ministry will not accept such jokes or behaviour,” he said.

It is good that the Education Ministry will not accept such insensitive joke. 

However, I find it a little strange that Kamalanathan has also said that he personally felt action should be taken if such allegations were found to be true. 

Why did he add the word “personally’?  Is this an indication that he is not confident that his view will not be shared and supported by the Education Ministry? 

I wish to say that if he needs DAP’s support on this issue; I am prepared to lend my voice of support in the coming parliamentary sitting. 

I wish to reiterate the two points which I have said in my press statement 4 days ago on the issue. 

Firstly, on the claim that the teacher had made a joke, the public are entitled to know if a thorough investigation was carried out whereby teachers and students were also interviewed, or explanation was only sought from the teacher concerned?

Secondly, there are two issues involved that must be looked with utmost seriousness and urgency by the Ministry, , namely, the allegation that the teacher had told the non Muslims students to drink urine and the question of the non Muslim students asked to drink tap water in the toilet. 

The Education Ministry cannot just focus on the urine joke only and ignore the question whereby the non Muslim students were asked to drink in the toilet, and to drink tap water! 

Why would a teacher advise students to drink tap water? And why can’t the non Muslims be allowed to drink and eat in the canteen? 

Three days ago, Deputy Education Minister I Datuk Mary Yap told Malaysakini that non-Muslim students should avoid eating and drinking in front of Muslim schoolmates during the fasting month.

"Out of respect to our Muslim friends, we as non-Muslims can avoid eating or drinking in front of our Muslim friends.

"Non-Muslims need to show some discretion on this matter during the fasting month," she said.
Can Mary say that her advice to the non Muslim students mean that the school can ask them to drink in the toilets? Why can’t they be allowed to drink and eat in the canteen?

What is at hand is a real issue whereby the non Muslim students have been unfairly treated; Mary should be bold enough to criticize the school instead of making a useless even unfair generalized statement. 

If Mary Yap lacks the courage to criticize the school, she should at least shut up. 

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