Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP MP for Ipoh Barat and National Vice Chairman in Ipoh on August 11, 2016
Absurd and totally unacceptable for USM to propose convocation on Deepavali eve
Although the USM ‘s convocation will now not be held on Deepavali eve following a change of dates, the Hindu community are still angry as to how the university could have been so insensitive and absurd to have proposed earlier that the 2016 convocation ceremony ends on Deepavali eve.
Malaysia is a multi religious nation and there is no excuse for the university not to know that Deeapavali eve is when Hindus, in a time-honoured tradition, gather for family reunions and offer prayers to their ancestors.
By proposing the convocation on Deepavali eve is therefore simply absurd and totally unacceptable.
Following media report of protest by the Hindu students, USM registrar Prof Abdul Aziz Tajuddin had earlier yesterday said the convocation dates of Oct 24 to 28 as displayed on the university’s website had not been finalised.
“The dates of Oct 24 to 28 was a result of internal discussion. I don’t know how outsiders got wind of it. The matter hasn’t been finalised because it still requires the Chancellor’s nod” he was quoted as saying.
But the point is not whether it was a proposed or finalised date. The issue is how could the University be so insensitive to propose such dates?
Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan has expressed his gratitude to the USM Vice Chancellor Professor Dato Dr Omar for the university’s kind consideration and aid in making the rescheduling possible.
Why the university should be thanked when it has committed a mistake which ought not to have happened.
USM must not offer any excuse for their insensitive proposal and must tender a public apology to the Hindu community although new dates have been set.
Two years ago, the Education Ministry was slammed for planning to hold its compulsory briefing for teachers invigilating in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) examinations on Deepavali eve.
It is a disgrace that even a university could be so insensitive.