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Saturday, August 28, 2010

All eyes on 'racist' headmistresses after surau youths charged



Malaysia Chronicle

In a move that heightens attention to two headmistress who allegedly uttered racist remarks but no action has been taken, three youths pleaded guilty at the magistrate's court to splashing red paint at a surau in Taman Pulai Impian nearby to Seremban.

“Of course, we must take into account their youth but we cannot spare the rod and spoil the child. The thing is, the police should not place youths in detention for such a long period of time. They should not be allowed to mix with the seasoned criminals,” PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

"As for the two school principals, they are adults and there should be even less excuse for them. Let's see if the government will act fairly, especially Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. If he lets them off, then it will obviously be a case of blatant racism and Prime Minister Najib Razak should drop him from the Cabinet."

Apology not enough, must be punished

According to the Star, the three youths aged between 16 and 17 were each charged with two counts of defiling a place of worship on Sunday, August 22. They were later released on bail of RM2,000 each and will be sentenced on Sept 22.

The trio was arrested on Aug 23 and has been in remand since. State police chief Osman Salleh said four youths were arrested for the vandalism. It is unclear if the fourth teenager will be charged or freed.

Police investigations revealed the four had been playing with firecrackers near to the surau on Sunday and had been told off. Dissatisfied, the youths decided to splash paint at the prayer hall, according to Osman.

"This is purely a case of mischief. It has nothing to do with religion or politics," Osman.said.

What about the two principals?

On Thursday, the parents of the four teenagers apologized to the surau management committee and Muslims in the country over the incident. Cheng Kok Foo, 38, Wong Seow Wai, 43, Loh Teck Ai, 53, and Leong Foong Kuen, 53, apologised to the surau management committee chairman, Mohd Hasbi Ismail.

“I hope that there will be no repeat of this incident and that they could impress upon their children that religion is a sensitive matter. This should not happen to any house of worship. This is a sensitive issue which hurt the feelings of Muslims,” said Hasbi.

But despite Mohd Hasbi accepting their apologies, there are calls from the public to make sure teenagers are also punished.

Meanwhile, the Education ministry is still silent on the fate on the two principals - one in Kulai and the other in Johor. Both had told their Chinese pupils they could go back to China and one of them even likened Indians to dogs.

"The special task force set up by Muhyiddin is taking too long. Police reports have already been made and the cases are quite clear cut. We hope Muhyiddin is not trying to play the race card. The Malays should actually reject such overtures, it harms their race and their integrity rather than help them," said Tian.

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