- UPDATED 8.40pm | The Education Ministry has released findings of its investigation.
A widely circulated video of primary school pupils singing the national anthem in Mandarin did not take place in any official functions, said the Education Ministry.
Instead, Education director-general Amin Senin said its investigations found that the incident was confined to classroom lessons.
“Our investigations found that the conduct only took place during classroom lessons that were meant to improve understanding towards the meaning, purpose, and conventions when singing the national anthem Negaraku by citizens in this country," Armin said in a statement today.
“It was not done in any of the school’s official functions. Nevertheless, the Education Ministry reminds all schools to exercise discretion when using any national symbols including the national anthem during classroom lessons, so it won’t be misunderstood by any party.”
Armin reminded schools that the national anthem may not be altered in any way when sung during official functions, and must adhere to the National Anthem Act 1968.
Earlier today, the ministry said it was investigating the video and warned it would take action on those who violated the Federal Constitution.
It added that such incidents had taken place in several schools.
Expressing regret over the incident, Bersatu Youth said a check revealed that apart from Mandarin, the national anthem was also being sung in Arabic.
The wing's education bureau has filed a police report over this.
Describing it as a treasonous act towards patriotism and nationalism, Bersatu Youth exco Mohd Ashraf Mustaqim said: “It is clear that the singing of Negaraku either in Mandarin or Arabic is wrong and transgresses the position of Negaraku as the official national anthem through its own language, which is Bahasa Melayu.”
Meanwhile, musicians and singers group Pergerakan Wira Putra Malaysia described the video as an attempt to indoctrinate students.
“Wira Putra condemns the teacher and school for this insolent act," its pro-tem chief Nasrul Ali Hasan Abdul Latif said.
"Is changing the lyrics to Mandarin a prerequisite in the curriculum? To the point that students must learn the national anthem without using the official national language?”
Demanding the Sedition Act 1948 be used against the teacher responsible, he also used the incident to launch a salvo on vernacular schools.
He alleged that the incident gave the impression that seeds of racism and animosity were sown at vernacular schools.
Meanwhile, Malaysiakini learnt that the video recording originated from a Chinese primary school in Seremban, Negri Sembilan.
It is also understood that the district Education Department had summoned the headmaster over the matter.
Malaysiakini has contacted the school authorities for comment.
A check revealed that the National Anthem Act 1968 does not clearly mention the language but includes musical notes and lyrics in Bahasa Malaysia.
Whereas, the National Language Act 1963 stipulates that Bahasa Melayu must be used for official purposes.