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Two souls who by the grace of God found each other. As we love each other, we remember that it is God's love that made this all possible. As we strive to build a strong relationship, we remember that it is actually our r'ship with CHRIST that binds us together. So as we will begin our life together, it is our desire to share God's love to this world and be CHRIST's humble servant wherever He may call us! Now with the arrival of Breanne Chan, we pray that we will be able to bring her up according to God's Commands and Love!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Racist Principals: Bless those who persecute you!

20 August 2010: Over the last 2 weeks there has been some racial tension created by a couple of secondary school principals from opposite ends of peninsular Malaysia.

The first on was from a principal in Kulai, Johor who had openly made racial slurs against her pupils by asking the "Chinese students to go back to China", and likening the Hindu prayer bracelet to a dog leash.

In her speech during the launch of the school's Merdeka celebration, she had also "reminded" the non-Malay students of their place in the country.


She had also allegedly given an example of owning a Proton Saga and then letting 'Munusamy' and 'Chong' in as passengers.

"Munusamy and Chong were only passengers. They cannot claim any right to the car. This is the same as Malaysia in which the non-Malay students are passengers," alleged a 16-year-old student in his police report on what she had said.

This was the remark allegedly made by SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra principal Siti Inshah Mansor.

The second incident is from Sekolah Menegah Kebangsaan Bukit Selambau. The principal was reported to have allegedly told off several non-Muslim students to "balik negara asal China" at a national school in Bukit Selambau, Sungai Petani.

According to the report the school cafeteria had closed for the fasting month and non-Muslim students were left to their own devices to find food.

But the sight of a group of them having breakfast at the canteen - a common area - had apparently raised the principal's ire.

Later, at the school assembly, the principal was alleged to have said that the Chinese students - comprising 10 percent of the student population of 780 - had been disrespectful and that "they should go back to China".

It was claimed that when the assembly was over, another teacher approached the Chinese students to say sarcastically that they should take an AirAsia flight, since the fares were cheap now.

Not surprisingly these incidents were met with outrage from not just the non-Muslim parents of these schools, but also from many peace-loving Malaysian as well. As a result of these racial incidents, many sections of the Malaysian community have demanded various stern actions to be taken against these principals. These have range from sacking these principals to even imprisonment. However one must asked, how should we, (as Malaysian) react to these unfortunate incidents?

Thought I am not against the idea that tough action to be taken against these principals, we must consider if this course of action is effective in solving the problem of racism among teacher and principals of government schools?

We must as the question: when we punished these “principals”, will it help them change their attitude towards the other races? Or will it only create more hatred and contempt among the offenders and the offenders’ close family and friends?

Can the fear of punishment really triumph over racial intolerance or are we merely covering up this “wound” with a simple plaster.

I believe we cannot fight fire with fire. We cannot use punishment and fear to win over these principals. All we will do is to create more hatred and resentment in them.

Love covers over a multitude of sins! A soft answer turns away wrath; but a hash word stirs up anger. These are proverbs which we must turn to when we consider how best to face these racial abuse! We need to turn the other cheek when we are spat upon!

It is not an easy thing to do! And that is why we must commend highly those who did not over react during the cow-head incident and the church burning incident. We must break this vicious cycle of racisms and the only way to do it is to love those who hate you.

Then hopefully they will see the error of their ways and be a shame at their actions.

The other issue however is also to ask the question; how does a racist teacher rise through the ranks to become a principal of a secondary school?

Or how does a teacher/principal turn racist? How or who evaluated these teachers and promoted them to become heads of government schools.

We must look carefully at their training and the appraisal system of the Ministry of Education.

This is where I believe the Ministry of Education and Biro Tata Negara must bear some responsibility for these racial incidents.

A person does not usually become a racist overnight. A person perception and values are usually molded over the year through his/her education, training, family or religious influences.

Thus one must ask the question to the Ministry of Education and Biro Tata Negara on what steps have they taken to promote the unity of this country to the public school teachers and principal. Or have the actually been the real culprits in influencing the teacher to become racist bigots in the hopes that they in turn will influence their young charges to be racist as well.

Thus while we must love back those who are racist against us but we must also question and challenge the system in which these principals were trained to become racist in the first place in order to stamp out future racist incidents in our Malaysian schools.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for this. This is a better approach

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  2. Thanks for the encouragement Paul!!

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  3. Write on, Bro. We need more folks like you, who would make known the voice and heart of God.

    God bless your work.

    ReplyDelete