KUALA LUMPUR: Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek has apologised to the Indian community for an incident where a few Tamil songs were barred from being played at an event in Penang last week.
"I would like to take this opportunity to take full responsibility and express my deepest regret on this issue.
"I would also like to apologise to the Indian community, especially those who felt slighted with the situation, 'technical' mistake and communications, and perhaps what transpired during the event
"It really should not have happened," said Fadhlina (PH-Nibong Tebal) while wrapping up the debate for her ministry on the 2024 Budget in Parliament on Monday (Nov 27).
Earlier, P. Prabakaran (PH-Batu) demanded an apology from the Education Ministry for not allowing the Tamil song to be played.
The songs "Kadavul Valthu" (a worship song) and "Tamil Valthu" were not allowed during a Tamil language carnival.
Fadlina said that "Kadavul Valthu" would be played during the Penang PKR Deepavali celebrations on Nov 29 so all parties can appreciate the song.
"I give my assurance that this will not happen again," she said.
She added that the ministry had taken stern action against those who negligently did not recognise the sensitivity of the issue.
"We have taken full responsibility, and there is no issue of us being insensitive. It was unintended and unprecedented, and there was no intention to sideline any race," she said.
Prabakaran then stood up to praise the minister and for giving a full explanation.
RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) also thanked the Education Ministry, urging all parties to continue to support the unity government.
"To the Indian community, please don't form a new party. There are enough.
"Those here will support the unity government and Tambun (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) will ensure the welfare of all races remain protected," added Rayer.