Minister deserves a slap over Orang Asli case

YOURSAY 'If Shafie Apdal cannot be trusted to deal with such a minor incident, how are we going to trust him on bigger issues?'

Agencies apologise over Orang Asli kids' slapping

your sayNot Confused: The Education Department, including a representative from Putrajaya yesterday apologised to the parents of the Orang Asli children for the slapping incident, and yet earlier, Rural and Regional Minister Shafie Apdal, the well-known apologist for Umno, denied that the children had been slapped at all.

Here is further evidence of the forked-tongue BN government making contradictory statements and actions. Pathetic!

Anonymous #41809171: Again, Shafie Apdal has had egg thrown in his face. There are only two explanations why he denied that the children were slapped - he was stupid enough to lie, or he was lied to by the Education Department and Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) officials.

Either way, some people deserve two tight slaps and a demotion.

Tholu: Shafie Apdal, where are you going to hide your face now? You had said that "... sometimes these things are politicised..." and you further added that "sometimes things are raised to instigate enmity."

Enmity between whom? And who politicised the issue?

The parents who complained about the incident were not seeking political mileage. They are concerned parents who are against the forced indoctrination of an Islamic way of life on their non-Muslim children. How does this make it a political issue?

It is you, Shafie, keeping true to Umno's abhorrent tactics, who is politicising it by infusing the racial and religious card into it.

If you had denied something that had actually happened as in this case, can we assume that your denial of some other personal allegation also true?

T: The truth is now out. Good job to the Education Ministry for correcting the wrong quickly. Will Shafie Apdal also offer an apology now for peddling untruths?

Lamborghini: This slapping incident is a blessing in disguise. It draws public attention to the bullying and intimidation of the genuine original bumiputera of Malaya.

They are not even mentioned in the constitution, have almost no representation in the government, are supposed to be helped and protected by a special department, but this same Jabatan has often taken advantage of them and bullied them instead.

In many instances, their ancestral lands have been literally robbed from them because they can't prove legal ownership.

It is good that the Education Department and Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) have apologised.

But many questions need to be answered such as: Why is the teacher involved not even at the meeting to apologise to the parents and students? What kind of action will be taken against the irresponsible and insensitive bully of a teacher?

Why is the rural and regional minister so quick to defend the wrong action of the teacher and why has there been no apology from this equally irresponsible and insensitive minister?

Asamko: Now at least some good sense has come out from the Education Ministry. Shafie Apdal should be put to shame for trying to whitewash the incident.

If he cannot be trusted to deal with such a minor incident, although a very sensitive one, how are we going to trust him on bigger issues?

Tailek: Shafie Apdal is symptomatic of the Umno ministers who talk out of their rear-ends before they have all the facts. The standard operating procedure is to deny first or blame it on the opposition or the media for misquoting them.

Now that the Education Ministry and Jakoa have apologised forthe incident, does the minister still deny the slapping incident ever happened? I think it is the minister who deserves one tight slap.

Moontime: When in doubt, deny everything. When the facts point out that it really happened, claim ignorance. Shafie Apdal is another example of a BN politician who prefers to open his mouth without checking the facts first.

Look at it this way, if the incident didn't happen, why the need to apologise? The parents of the affected children were right to require that the apology be publicised through the mass media hoping that it will never be repeated in the future.

Their intention may be right and noble, but I have my doubts it will happen. As long as we have teachers and education officers with this 'holier-than-thou' attitude and looking down on people of other religions, it will keep repeating in another form or manner.

Whatsup: The culture of Umno-BN is to lie and deny, and when proven wrong, blame others. For this case, the next big question is whether this is an isolated case (forcing the recital of doa in schools) or just the tip of the iceberg? I believe the latter is true.

Are there other forms of religious indoctrination happening now? Some incidents that I've heard are teachers telling how great the religion is in class, and making hints and claims about the superiority of the religion, among other questionable practices these teachers indulge in.

It's strange how these so-called teachers are not doing their job of educating students in the subject they are tasked to teach, but overzealously indirectly 'teaching' their religion to everyone in the class.

Disgusted: Why are Jakoa and other institutions in charge of the Orang Asli helmed by only Muslims? Shouldn't it also have Orang Asli of other religions in their committees or councils?

It is no secret that there is a mission by BN and even PAS to covertly and sometimes overtly forcibly convert these people with inducements and sometimes threats for political purposes.

They are afraid that the Orang Asli will embrace Christianity instead, and those who have become Christians are being persecuted subtly and some have given in to pressure to convert to Islam and were henceforth rewarded materially and they then enjoyed a better standard of living within their community.

Many of them have been made penghulu or community leaders to get the rest to vote for BN. On the other hand, those who become Christians are denied places of worship, and when they build one using their own money, the authorities tear them down citing laws and regulations.

Jean Pierre: And why are those representing the Orang Asli or those who make decision over them not Orang Asli themselves? And we want the teacher to be named so that his name will live forever in the Hall of Shame.

Stories: I think action must be taken outside of the ministry since a law has been broken. It is stupid how Section 17 of the Aboriginal Peoples Act 1954 was violated and no criminal proceeding has been initiated.

This is another case of how the sanctity of the federal constitution has been defiled in the name of Islam. This problem would keep repeating over and over again as long as there are no Orang Asli who are in charge of their own destiny.

Change could begin by amending the constitution to have Orang Asli to helm Orang Asli-related departments. How could a department head who isn't an Orang Asli even empathise with this group of marginalised people?

I can bet those department heads would be working in a nice urban air-conditioned room far away from the reality of what is happening to the people whom he is meant to serve. I myself have seen and heard testimonies from this pitiful group of people.

Swipenter: Stop the forced conversion of non-Muslims. Sack the teacher. An apology is not enough. Too many incidents of such nature are happening in schools all over the country. Non-Muslims must stand up to such religious bullying by bigots.

Wira: The important point is, will this news be published over the mainstream media? Or would Shafie Apdal's lie simply be allowed to remain in the print and TV media?

Shafie Apdal, go bury your head in shame.


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