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The line must be drawn here in S'wak
Published:  Nov 6, 2010 8:23 AM
Updated: 10:25 AM

your say 'It will happen time and again if issues like these are not addressed promptly and nip in the bud whenever they rear their ugly head.'

10-year-old caned over non-halal food in school

Urban Malaysian: Is there really a directive from the Education Ministry that non-halal food cannot be brought to school by non-Muslim students even for their own consumption?

If there is, we must protest. This is an infringement of our basic rights guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. And they keep telling us that we are not patriotic if we sent our children to vernacular schools. Pray tell, why would we sent our children to so-called 'national schools' if non-Muslims have to assimilate Islamic behaviour?

The 18/20-point agreement on the merger of Sabah and Sarawak with Malaya to form Malaysia in 1963 states as its first clause: ‘...there should be no state religion in Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah), and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to Borneo'.

However, because we don't care or are unable to assert our rights, we have allowed the Putrajaya government to step all over us.

Because our national leaders like the PM and DPM were unwilling to announce publicly and firmly the kind of action taken against the two school principals in Johor and Kedah who uttered derogatory remarks regarding the Chinese and Indians, our little Napoleon of the senior assistant at St Thomas Primary School took it to mean that Muslim sensitivities override respect for non-Muslims and took action himself to cane the 10-year-old on his hands 10 times for bringing his mother's home-cooked fried rice with non-halal sausage.

Anonymous: When there was a great reluctance to even address the deplorable behaviour of the disgusting headmistress and the other racist school head over their seditious behaviour, what makes any of us think that this time it is going to be any different?

Didn't the country's second-in-command say he could not do anything about them? Aren't we clued into the arrogance and couldn't-care-less attitude of the government? They don't give a rat's ass about the escalating incidents of blatant racism.

Rentap: It looks like somebody is bringing bad ideology to Sarawak. As an Ex-Thomian, such incidents should not happen at all in schools, especially mission schools. I hope the government make a wise decision on this issue so that it will not happen again.

Anak Malaysia: The senior assistant should be sacked along with the two other principals who made racist remarks in the Kedah and Johor schools. The fact that this happened in Sarawak where Muslims are minority is even more unforgivable.

Dear PM Najib Razak, when are you going to start living up to your 1Malaysia slogan and take tough action? Or prove many of us right again - that this is nothing more than mere empty rhetoric.

Black Mamba: This is exactly the result of the inaction taken on the last two principals in Johor and Kedah, and mind you such actions on non-Muslim students by senior teachers and principals will happen time and again in other states if issues like these are not addressed promptly and nip in the bud whenever they rear their ugly head.

Vijay: I must salute Mrs Angela Jabing for pursuing this matter. For too long, non-Muslims been turning the proverbial other cheek when fanatics embark on another one of their almost incessant insensitive demands.

This tolerance that non-Muslims have demonstrated has only encouraged the extremists to continue on their self-appointed roles as guardians of the nation's morals and good behaviour. Enough is enough.

It is about time that this country acknowledges that Malaysia is for all races, cultures and religions, and that everyone, not just Muslims, has a right to have his own religious and cultural practices respected by others.

Anonymous: To all those readers who think that this incident is trivial, they should think again. Imagine if the senior assistant is a Hindu in a Tamil school and the 10-year-old student is a Muslim boy and was punished with 10 strikes on his palm for bringing beef to the school in his lunch box. What do you think will be the repercussions?.

Feroz: I can accept the fact that non-halal food is not be allowed in schools. However if the boy had brought it in, he can be advised or a letter sent to the parents to explain the sensitivities involved.

The senior assistant had no business caning the pupil 10 times in barbaric, outdated and archaic fashion. I hope he is given a stern written warning or given half-pay suspension for a month. Young children may make mistakes and they have to be moulded with love and care.

The canteen should also be inspected to see that it sells proper food at the right cost so that there is no necessity for pupils to bring food from their homes. Non-Muslim parents should kindly ensure that their children don't bring pork to school, it is very sensitive to Muslims.

The issue here is that the senior assistant's action amounts to criminal assault, I hope a police report has been made. The child could have been taught without resorting to physical assault.

Mohd Hazwan: All national schools which are funded by taxpayers money should ensure that they prepare food and allow students to eat whatever food permitted by their respective religions. We cannot have lopsided rules which cater to the interest of only one religious group. Respect each others beliefs and that is clearly enshrined in the constitution. Wasalam.

KSC: I have never thought that the Vision School would have worked precisely because the extremist Muslims would impose their rules on the other schools. It is a pipe dream by one of the commentators here that the school canteen provide meals at reasonable price. School canteens have to operate at a profit, it's not a charity.

No price can match what is prepared at home where it is cooked with care and love. Perhaps this is another ‘let them eat cake' situation? We must draw the line here in Sarawak. What happens in Peninsula should not pollute our shores.

Focus: I'm not surprised by this incident though I was alarmed by what I saw in the 80s. I made business visits to schools to promote books. What saddened me was this: Muslim teachers had their meals in a room separated from their non-Muslim colleagues. How could they build relationship and understand each other when this was practised day in and day out? One of the best ways to foster any relationship is to have meals together.

This incident is just a natural progression from the staff room to elsewhere and every place in our schools.

Saengch: It's better not to have food in school. It's all so sensitive. Better yet, don't teach at school as whatever you teach is sensitive too. Here's what you get for letting government-run schools to meddle in religious affairs. We will only be saved if we insist on religion being a private and individual matter.

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