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Monday, November 29, 2010

MP seeks to raise latest racist episode in Parliament

Er wants Parliament to discuss the racist incident in Negri Sembilan after claiming public interest. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Parliament today received a motion notice on yet another racist incident, this time involving a teacher who allegedly uttered racial slurs while invigilating for the SPM examination in a school in Negri Sembilan last week.

The motion was filed by Er Teck Hwa (DAP-Bakri) with the Speaker’s office this morning.

In his notice, Er noted that the issue should be debated in the House as it was specific, urgent and of public interest.

“A drastic and effective action should be taken to prevent similar incidents from recurring,” he said.

In the incident on November 24, a school teacher, reportedly from a secondary school in Port Dickson, had allegedly uttered derogatory remarks against Chinese and Indian students when they arrived late to the examination hall for their SPM examination.

According to reports in the Chinese media, the teacher had censured the students for their tardiness by telling the Chinese students to return to China and the Indian students to India if they failed to understand her instructions in Bahasa Malaysia.

“In recent days, racially discriminatory remarks like these have really hurt our feelings, when what we really seek for is unity and harmony,” said Er in his notice.

“Similar statements have been made by others, like the prime minister’s special officer in February, a schoolteacher from SMK Gajah Berang in July and two school principals from SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra and SMK Bukit Selambau in August and now another one in the incident above.”

He added that the incidents were clearly not isolated cases as they bore similarities and involved equally disparaging remarks against the Chinese and Indian communities.

“The Chinese and Indians have been asked to return to China and India, and the Indians were likened to dogs with their prayer strings while the Chinese were accused of being prostitutes,” he pointed out.

Er was referring to the slew of racially-charged incidents that have been plaguing the Najib administration throughout the year, beginning with the remarks made by Datuk Nasir Safar, the prime minister’s former special officer, who had allegedly said during a 1 Malaysia event that the “Indians came to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese, especially the women, came to sell their bodies”.

Nasir was later asked to resign from his post but no further action was taken against him.

The Najib administration later came under fire for failing to act quickly against two other incidents involving the school principals in Kedah and Johor, whose remarks against the Chinese and Indian communities had sparked public uproar.

In the Johor incident, school principal Siti Inshah Mansor had reportedly made derogatory remarks during the launch of the school’s Merdeka celebrations.

“Chinese students are not needed here and can return to China or Foon Yew schools. For the Indian students, the prayer strings tied around their neck and wrist makes them look like dogs because only dogs are tied like that,” she was quoted as saying in at least one of the over 20 police reports lodged against her.

Parents had also claimed that Siti Inshah had made similar racist remarks in her previous school, SMK Kelapa Sawit, where she had allegedly called Indians Nigerians.

Another student had alleged that Siti Inshah had used the Proton Saga as an analogy for Malaysia, describing how the Chinese and Indians are passengers in the car and cannot claim any rights to the “car”.

In the Kedah incident, the school principal had allegedly told off several Chinese students and accused them of disrespecting the Muslims by eating in the school canteen during fasting month.

Shortly after the two incidents, another case involving a civil servant hit the headlines in September.

National Civics Bureau (BTN) assistant director Hamim Husain had allegedly uttered racial slurs during a closed-door Puteri Umno function, in which he referred to the Chinese and Indian communities as “Si Mata Sepet” and “Si Botol”.

Since then, the Kedah principal has been punished with a warning and a transfer, while Hamim was suspended from his duties since October 6. - Malaysian Insider

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