PETALING JAYA: Allegations of students being disciplined for wearing traditional attire for a National Day event at a Kajang school is being investigated by the Education Ministry.
An officer from the Deputy Education Minister’s office confirmed that the Selangor Education Department is investigating the alleged incident.
“A statement will be issued once the probe is completed,” the officer said when contacted yesterday.
A news portal reported that students from the secondary school were barred from wearing sarees at an event meant to foster unity.
A student claimed that those who wore sarees were instructed to provide their names to the discipline teacher, which were recorded in their Students Discipline System (Sistem Sahsiah Diri Murid or SSDM).
Parents of the students who were penalised are worried that having such disciplinary records could negatively impact their children’s future. They are seeking an explanation from school authorities.
The same student also claimed that Indian students were told to remove their red holy threads from their wrists, and permission was required to wear them.
Moderation advocate Mohamed Tawfik Ismail, the son of Malaysia’s second deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, expressed his view that discrimination against a specific traditional costume is unfair. He said education authorities should be allowed to conduct a thorough probe into the alleged incident.
“Everyone has a reason for the actions and we need to know why,” he said when contacted yesterday.
He said details with regard to the alleged incident was scant at the moment and could fan unnecessary racial sentiments if played up by the media.
Tawfik pointed out that women should be allowed to wear their traditional costumes which could come with certain stipulations.
“Why stop the students from wearing their traditional attire when it is a matter of fashion and taste unless there are clear guidelines during the school event on the types of attire that are not allowed.
“In such a situation, either follow the rules or do not attend,” he said.