Another ‘racist’ principal invokes the ire of Gerakan

By Athi Shankar, Free Malaysia Today

GEORGE TOWN: Two northern region-based Gerakan leaders called on the Education Ministry to take uncompromising stand against a ‘racist’ national school principal in Kedah.

An upset Kedah Gerakan chief Dr Cheah Soon Hai said the government must take punitive action against the principal.

“Schools are places of learning, not to promote racism. Such degrading and disparaging words from a school principal should not never be condoned,” he said.

He was referring to an alleged incident at a national school in Bukit Selambau, Sungai Petani early this week, where the principal had allegedly told off several non-Muslim students to “balik negara asal China” (go back to native country China).

It was reported that the principal had scolded the students for taking breakfast at the school compound, saying they were insensitive because Muslim students are fasting. At that time, the school canteen was closed.

The principal allegedly said the students should respect every race’s culture, if not they should “balik negara asal China.”

“If it was true that the principal had made the racist utterances, then the person should face disciplinary action. The government should take stern action against the principal,” insisted Cheah, the Derga state assemblyman.

Statement totally unwarranted

Echoing this, Penang Gerakan secretary Ong Thean Lye called on the ministry to initiate appropriate disciplinary action against the irresponsible principal.

“Racism must not exist in schools. The people must see that the government is serious in its 1Malaysia concept,” added Ong.

Cheah said the people should know that Malaysia’s independence was not gained due to the effort of one single community, but through genuine collective effort of all ethnic groups.

“While non-Muslims should be more sensitive towards Muslim during fasting period, the principal’s statement has clearly gone overboard,” he said.

He said that the principal racist remarks have indirectly described non-Malays as passengers in this country.

“Such statements undermining Malaysian citizens as penumpang are totally unwarranted,” said Cheah.

Ong said Penang Gerakan strongly condemns the principal. He said school principals, as educators, should promote racial harmony and integration, not the opposite.