PETALING JAYA: The Education Ministry must explain the contradictory statements it has made regarding Rakan Siswa Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim) being allowed to carry out preaching activities (aktiviti dakwah) in schools, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
In a statement on Tuesday (Dec 24), the ministry insisted that Yadim's activities did not involve non-Muslim students, vernacular schools or missionary schools.
“Following the ministry’s clarification on Dec 24, does it means that Chinese secondary schools (SMJK) and national secondary schools with a majority of Chinese students will not be spared (of preaching activities)?
“The statement is different from what was reportedly said earlier by the Education deputy director-general that it was optional for vernacular schools to allow Yadim’s preaching activities, ” the MCA president said on his Facebook page on Tuesday (Dec 25).
During Barisan Nasional’s time, the Ayer Hitam MP said, the ministry allowed all secondary schools and tertiary institutions to set up Islamic teaching societies, Buddhist societies, Christian societies and Hindu societies.
“There was nothing wrong with this, as religious exchange and learning among the different religious societies should be encouraged.
“However, (Education Minister Dr) Mazslee Malik’s decision to allow Yadim to go to schools and tertiary institutions is a completely different matter.
“It is a unilateral decision that did not take into account the multiracial sentiment of our country. It will certainly cause speculations, ” he said, adding that no such circular was issued during Barisan’s time.
Prior to this on Monday (Dec 23), Dr Wee had asked why religious propagation was being mixed up with school education following Sin Chew Daily’s revelation of a ministry circular to all state education directors.
The circular was titled "Permission for Rakan Siswa Yadim to conduct dakwah (religious propagation) in schools, teacher education institutes, polytechnics, community colleges, public universities and selected private universities in Malaysia.”
The daily also quoted the deputy director-general as saying that vernacular schools (Chinese and Tamil primary schools) would have the option of whether or not to allow preaching activities.
However, the ministry’s Dec 24 statement said that allowing Yadim to carry out preaching activities in schools was not an act of Islamisation and, moreover, that its activities did not involve non-Muslim students, vernacular schools or missionary schools.
Quoting a circular issued on Nov 27, the ministry confirmed that Yadim was allowed to preach in teacher training institutes, polytechnics, community colleges, public universities and selected private universities.
In his Dec 24 Facebook post, Dr Wee also asked if the list of these selected private universities had been announced and whether it included Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR).
“The ministry’s 'one-way decision' is worrying and disregarded the multiracial sentiments of the country. Maszlee’s directive may cause uneasiness.
“His letter clearly stated that Yadim can go to all schools. The words ‘optional’ or ‘exempted’ are not found in his original letter.
“It’s purely insensitive on the ministry’s part. They should understand the sensitivity among multiracial community and more interaction should be encouraged.
“They have made blunders and they should rectify them, ” he said, adding that the ministry should not blame the media or opposition later, as nobody misinterpreted the circulars.
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