MINISTER OF EDUCATION MUST WITHDRAW PERMISSION FOR RAKAN SISWA YADIM TO CARRY OUT DAKWAH (PROPOGATION) IN SCHOOLS
STATEMENT BY MCCBCHST
1. The MCCBCHST looks with great alarm and disbelief the Ministry of Education Memo titled “Kebenaran Rakan Siswa Yadim menjalankan aktiviti Dakwa disekolah, Institut Pendidikan Guru Malaysia, Politeknik, Kolej Komuniti, Universiti Awam dan beberapa Universiti Swasta yang terpilih di Malaysia,” bertarikh 2 Oktober 2019. [Translation: Permission To Rakan Siswa Yadim to conduct dakwah (religious propagation) in Schools, Teacher’s Training Institutes, Polytechnics, Community Colleges, Public Universities and selected Private Universities in Malaysia].
1.1. MCCBCHST looks at the lette with “alarm” because Dakwah activities are planned to be carried out on such a wide scale amongst students who are young and impressionable, innocent to worldly ways and very vulnerable. With “disbelief” because the schools are places of learning, to acquire knowledge, to enhance competitiveness, to learn science and technology, etc. but what is being planned appears to be promotion of Islamic missionary activities amongst students which should not be the concern of National type schools.
2. The heading and the contents of this MOE memo leaves no doubt in the mind of readers that the clear intention was Dakwah (Propagation of Islam) with possible aim of proselythization of students. There is no contrary intention shown in the Memo. The targetted students appear to be the Non-Muslims as there is no question of Proselythization of students who are already Muslims. Further Muslim students are already learning about Islam under subject “Pendidikan Islam” and therefore YADIM cannot be doing the same. Moreover, YADIM is a “DAKWAH” Body, as admitted below:
We quote from Para 2 of MOE said Memo:
“Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah” (YADIM) adalah satu badan dakwah yang menjadikan Malaysia sebagai Model Pentadbiran Islam yang Rahmah disamping memperkembangkan agama Islam dengan melahirkan para pendakwa YADIM yang terlatih.”
Islamic Propagation Foundation (YADIM) is a Missionary Body which wants to make Malaysia a Model Islamic administration “Rahmah” including at the same time to develop religion of Islam by having Yadim propagators who are trained.
From above quote, the intent is clear. That is to carry out Dakwah activities through appointing “pendakwa” in schools etc. who will carry out Propagation activities.
3. This MOE Memo was “leaked” a few days ago to the press. To contain fall out from it, the MOE moved quickly to issue a letter on 24/12/2019 emphasizing amongst others:
3.1. That setting up of Rakan Siswa Yadim in Schools is still subjected to permission from respective schools. [There is no such thing stated in the first MOE Memo].
3.2. Does not involve Non-Muslim students.
[The ‘Pendakwa’ Trainers will be Malays. Who will be their target for Propagation. It appears the target will be Non-Muslim as there is no need for Dakwah activities amongst Muslims who are already learning Islam as a subject].
3.3. Ministry guarantees that Rakan Siswa Yadim will be responsible for obeying existing rules and regulation.
[No such guarantee has been given in MOE Memo. It is impossible for MOE officials to monitor thousands of schools and the guarantee given is meaningless].
3.4. That Rakan Siswa Yadim organizes leadership skills [Note: The word “leadership” does not appear even once in the first MOE Memo. It only talks about “melahirkan Pendakwah” (Religious Propagators).
Therefore the above explanation of the MOE does not hold water and are in clear contradiction of the first Memo. The first Memo of MOE does not contain any of the clarifications given in the second letter.
The MCCBCHST calls upon the Minister of Education to withdraw permission given to YADIM to carry out Dakwah (Religious Propagation) activities in schools and other institutions of higher learning. The schools are places of learning and equipping children with proper skills. They are not places for propagation of any faith.
The Minister of Education should note the observation of ZAID IBRAHIM (Malaysiakini dated 02/12/2019) as follows:
“Zaid Ibrahim has censured Education Minister Maszlee Malik for his preoccupation with symbolic issues such as Jawi, Silat and Dakwah.
Is he trying to use schools as part of national identity rebuilding for the country? If so it will be divisive, a hangover of days gone by.”
The MCCBCHST also observes in para 1 of the MOE Memo the “Perbincangan Khas Kepimpinan Tertinggi YADIM yang di adakan pada 1 Oktober 2019 adalah berkaitan.” (Special discussion with the Highest Leadership of YADIM held on 1 October 2019 refers). The Memo by the Minister of Education is dated 02/10/2019. This means that on such an important issue of allowing “Dakwah” in schools, no discussion was held with any stake holders, other officials of the Ministry or the cabinet as the Memo by the MOE was issued the day after the meeting, that is immediately and this appears to be politically motivated.
Our YAB Prime Minister has pointed out a few times that our National schools have become like religious schools and that there was need to make them schools of first choice. Surely carrying out Dakwah activities is not the right way. Therefore MCCBCHST calls upon the Minister of Education to withdraw permission given to YADIM to carry out Dakwah activities in schools immediately.
Statement issued and endorsed by:
1. Archbishop Julian Leow Beng Kim
President MCCBCHST / Christian Federation Malaysia (CFM)
2. Sardar Jagir Singh
Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC)
3. Datuk R.S. Mohan Shan
Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS)
4. Dao Zhang Tan Hoe Chieow
Federation of Taoist Associations Malaysia (FTAM)
5. Venerable Sing Kan
Malaysia Buddhist Association (MBA)