‘School decisions must not contradict regulations’
PADANG TERAP: School administrators are reminded that decisions made at the school-level should not contradict regulations and circulars issued by the Education Ministry.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, said while school administrators were given the freedom to make administrative decisions, they should not touch on the sensitivities of the country’s multiracial society.
He said school administrators should play the role of uniting pupils of different ethnic and religious backgrounds, instead of inciting racial sentiments.
“Schools administrators may think out of the box in making decisions, but it has to be in line with regulations and circulars issued by the ministry.
“Decisions must be made in the spirit of uniting our multiracial people, instead of touching on religious and ethnic sensitivities,” he said after opening the Padang Terap Umno delegates’ meeting here in Kuala Nerang.
Mahdzir, who is also Padang Terap member of parliament, was responding to news reports that a primary school in Hulu Langat, Selangor, had separated drinking cups used by its Muslim and non-Muslim pupils.
Mahdzir said it was government policy to nurture unity among pupils of all races and religions.
He gave his assurance that the Selangor Education Department would investigate the matter.
The school’s policy of having separate cups for pupils was a hot topic on social media yesterday, sparking debate among Netizens on the treatment of nonMuslim pupils in schools.
The school’s authorities declined to comment, but Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon has urged the Selangor Education Department to launch an investigation soon.
Parent Action Group for Education chair Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said such incidents had become a worrying trend in the country.
Selangor Education Department director Mohd Salleh Mohd Kassim said the department had investigated the matter and the labels separating drinking cups for Muslims and non-Muslims had been removed.
He also urged the public not to make a big issue of the matter and to put it behind them.
“The initiative was taken by the headmaster in question after seeing that pupils liked to drink from the water dispenser without cups. So, the school put up the labels.”
“However, the move did not sit well with the parents,” he said during a dengue patrol campaign in SK Seksyen 9 here yesterday.
Salleh said the headmaster had informed the PTA before putting up the labels.
“But the issue is in the past and the department hopes that pupils will use their own cups and bottles,” he added.
Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (at the podium) opening the Padang
Terap Wanita Umno, Puteri and Youth delegates’ meeting in Kuala Nerang yesterday.