PETALING JAYA: The Universiti Malaya lecturer accused of making racist remarks against two of her Indian students has apologised over the incident.
UM vice-chancellor Tan Sri Prof Dr Mohd Amin Jalaludin said a meeting was held between the lecturer and the students last month, during which she issued a verbal and written apology for her actions.
Dr Mohd Amin, who was also present during the meeting, added that the students had accepted the apology and hoped a similar incident would not reoccur.
"The lecturer in question regrets the incident and stressed that it was not her intention to stir any racial issues. She also promised to be more careful in the future," the vice-chancellor said in a statement.
He also reiterated that UM would not tolerate any form of disrespect for other races from any of its academic or administrative staff.
The lecturer was suspended from teaching the class in which she made the alleged remarks following the incident, which went viral after a Facebook posting by one of the students.
In the posting, the student said that the lecturer from the Faculty of Education had allegedly barred her and another Indian student from sitting next to each other in class, claiming that Indians "copy and plagiarise assignments".
She had also reportedly said she would not allow both students to be in the same group for assignments as she "knew how Indians are".
The incident sparked a backlash from Malaysians, who called for the lecturer to be sacked.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan responded by instructing UM to form an independent panel to investigate the allegation.
The university confirmed that the case has been referred to its Staff Disciplinary Committee, and if found guilty, the lecturer could face appropriate action under the Statutory Bodies (Discipline and Surcharge) Act 2000.