Another case of Deepavali insensitivity by Education Ministry under Hishammuddin

by Disappointed Teacher

I’m currently teaching in a secondary school in Johor and I am totally dissatisfied with an issue so I am writing this complain hoping that it will make a difference.

As most of you are aware of, we had just completed the PMR examinations throughout Malaysia. We as teachers also look forward to marking the PMR papers, as we will be able to gain experience and insights, which will be useful when conducting the Form 3 classes for the coming year.

However, all the hopes of Indian teachers are dashed to the ground as the meeting with the heads of the marking group is being held on the eve of Deepavali in some places.

These meetings are held over a span of two to three days so that each group is able to discuss with their respective group leaders on issues concerning the marking of the papers.

The examiners will also be given their scripts and briefed on the issues of marking. These meetings are essential and if they are held during the preparations for Deepavali, many Indian teachers will not be able to attend and thus they lose out as they won’t have the chance to mark the papers.

Some may argue that these meetings are not long, and the teachers will be able to attend the meeting and then go back home to continue with the preparations, but I ask you is it fair?

Some of us are sent to different states away from our hometowns and we dedicate ourselves to our work but during the holidays we would like to spend time with our loved ones.

I’m not surprised that this sort of incident is taking place as we have come across many incidents like this over the years but I would seriously like to pose this question.

Is this what we call BANGSA MALAYSIA? This ignorance of the celebration that is going to take place and the importance of this celebration to a small group of people who are a part of Malaysia.

I can only hope that things will get better and even though we are a small group of people we still contribute to the development of this nation and thus our voices should be heard.

The meeting could have been held during the weekday since we already know beforehand when the examinations are going to take place and when it’s going to be over.

There is no logical explanation on why the meeting is held on the eve of Deepavali unless it has been done on purpose.

  1. #1 by badak on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 6:19 pm

    Like this teacher had said there alot of things that are happening in our education system. that made non Malays as third class citizen.
    Umno led BN govertment will never admit that the party is racist.

  2. #2 by kftang on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 6:43 pm

    ‘Disappointed Teacher’ should take up his/her case with the MIC and its boss since the party has always claimed to look after the welfare and interests of the down-trodden Malaysian Indians. I sympathize with you I am not the power-that-be. Good luck to you!

  3. #3 by taiking on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 7:08 pm

    “Hei you third class citizens pls shut up.”

    I think that more or less would sum up umnoputras’ reply.

    If you say anymore, then you might just be asked to return to India or if not then isa-ed.

    Luckily you are not chinese. Otherwise, they will describe you as babi of some sort then threaten to revoke your citizenship, then ask you to balik china or if not then isa-ed.

    Here, we non umnoputras are expected to sit and beg for crumbs.

  4. #4 by calleigh69 on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 7:14 pm

    There is in fact another issue faced by the Indians in this country that i would like to highlight, though i am not an Indian.
    As we know that teachers are posted to different places all over the country regardless of where they come from. .well the issue here is that, Deepavali is the public holiday for the states in the Peninsular Malaysia & also the Sabah. But as there are also quite many Indian teachers are being posted to Sarawak, i wonder why Deepavali is not recognised as a public holiday in Sarawak.
    I think the Indian friends in this country,especially those serving in Sarawak should stand up and say their right, so that they could also enjoy the festive season with their loved ones during. i am really sorry to see my Indian colleagues having to be alone, thinking of warm gathering their family are having during the festival.

  5. #5 by Loyal Malaysian on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 7:48 pm

    A callous response from the MOE Examinations Syndicate will be that examiners are paid and you can choose not to be an examiner.
    But , that is not the issue , is it?
    Will ‘They’ call for that coordination meeting on the eve of Hari Raya Puasa?
    A reasonable and fair arrangement will be for the meeting to be held after Deepavali.
    Ya, let’s see Samy Vellu who thinks he’s that indispensable to the Indian community get to work on this!!

  6. #6 by chengho on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 7:59 pm

    what is the problem ? you cannot get the best of everything
    nation have to move on ,we have have too many holiday already
    you have to sacrifice under the name of national interest . attend the briefing don’t cry.

  7. #7 by wanderer on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 8:10 pm

    This must be the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. How much more, must you Indians have to endure with this sort of crap?
    If you still think MIC is your miracle maker, think hard again.
    With UMNOputras at the helm, your frustrations will only grow. Pack up if you have not left MIC and join PK, you have a much better chance to see the light of tomorrow.

  8. #8 by lopez on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 8:16 pm

    it has been acknowledge those wannabe in the moe is full of shit in their brains, reinvent the wheel and denial and fear of others overwhelming them and their ways and space, very territorial bunch of idiots and hate by most people.

    one kind people who thinks theirs is the truth ways , the real way , the best way, by their own selfish standards.

    not very different bunch in the blue, very extreme intensions

  9. #9 by angryaboutanything on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 8:46 pm


    If you are indeed a Chinese, how bout I say we have school days on CNY, then what will you say. Another case of “If the shit didn’t pooped in your house, It aint smells” case.

    You memang buat malu Cina, Sommore use the use name Chengho.

  10. #10 by teacher on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 8:47 pm

    Totally in agreement with Wanderer. How many straws have to be broken and and how many more camel’s backs.
    Brothers you know that MIC is a applepolisher and bootlicker. Why do you still stick with them when the Education Ministry treats you like dirt. They don’t even respect you festival, though its only once a year.
    Time to tell your brothers and sisters to abandon ship and join PR for you and your childrens’ future

  11. #11 by angryaboutanything on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 8:53 pm

    Let us all pressure them do change to another day. I cannot see another Indian brother/sister of mine being pushed around. I don’t wanna blame BN or praises PR, I just want to see the Indians being respected.

    Non-Indians like us, who truly care for Malaysian as whole must stand up to voice our disapproval. Let not see the Indian standing all alone.

  12. #12 by homeblogger on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 10:06 pm

    Should we expect any different from a racist UMNO-bully government?

    Every year, my kids school prepares their Raya holiday notice one month in advance, giving everyone a whole week off, because the Tuans (even though most of them are lazy) deserve a full week to enjoy Raya. This year, the kids had to attend 3 Saturdays as replacement so that the important (but lazy government-dependent) Tuans can get this long holiday. 2 years ago, they even started the year-end holidays from Nov 1 (2 whole months) to accomodate the (lazy but still government-dependent) Tuans. If possible, they would also stretch the Raya holidays to a whole year, because all the (lazy but still considered special) Tuans deserve all the holidays they can get.

    But this year, NOT ONE single day off or even letting the kids off early on Chinese New Year’s eve so they can make the trip back home. After all, Chinese and Indians are (and NEVER WILL BE) as important as all the (lazy government-fed) Tuans.

    So do you really expect anything more for Deepavali?

  13. #13 by bystander on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 10:35 pm

    the leaders of mca and umno have changed twice in the last 5 years. why is it that samy is still the leader of mic?

  14. #14 by angryaboutanything on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 10:40 pm


    Have you no shame on keeping labelling the Malays as being lazy. The real fault lies upon the current Federal administation. NOT THE MALAYS! Since when ever did any race was better than another. I’d seen lots of lazy and crooked Chinese my whole life. So should the Malays start calling us that?!

    With such mentality, how can DAP or Chinese members in PKR and PAS be able to work with each other? How you yourself as a common citizen live your life among so many other races in the country.

    Please, If you want to be angry, be angry with the politicians, be angry with a certain minority racist indiciduals (including CHINESE).

  15. #15 by OrangRojak on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 10:58 pm

    I need more information again! How long have you known that these two events would clash? I would imagine that the dates of Deepavali and the examination calendar could be (or are) established well in advance. Is that the case?

    Wikipedia tells me Deepavali is a public holiday in Singapore, but doesn’t say so for Malaysia. Maybe a public spirited wikipedian could apply the necessary change if it is a public holiday. Whether it’s a public holiday in Malaysia or not, I would have expected this kind of issue to be thrashed out well in advance by the education establishment.

    Having said that, I’m often surprised to get a note in my daughter’s school bag that informs me of a school closure with only a few days notice. I often wonder “how long have they known that was coming?”. Are calendars such an alien concept?

  16. #16 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 11:19 pm

    kau jangan cakap banyak banyak ikut aje lah. kalau kau cakap lagi, aku keluarkan keris aku, aku cium keris aku, kemudian aku tusuk kau… ingat aku kuat aku kebal…

  17. #17 by veddy.lum74 on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 - 11:29 pm

    i really discovered the stupidity of the education minister,and all the previous ministers too!
    these scenario could be solved easily!
    now,i m sure that these type of long holidays on the last semester were specially made for those united kingdom’s teachers during the british government moment for them to go home to their couintry to celebrate christmas and new year,it’s not suitable for us,we do not have long winter here!
    the education minister should shorten it to maybe 1 month,and each major ethnic raya event could provide 1 week off for them as national holidays!
    this will definitely erase this type of crabs!because not necessary everyone must celebrate their qwn raya right?it could be the second day,third day or forth day,as long most of the family,relatives and friends could meet each other(during the week),that alredy serve the purpose right?

    we really have a dumb education minister,only know how to wield keris or convert rm30,000 to rm3000!!!

  18. #18 by parameswara on Wednesday, 22 October 2008 - 1:26 am

    Hello Disappointed Teacher,

    why do you complain so much?
    we are not a bully,
    we only raise our keris,
    so don’t complain so much, ok?
    please pay attention to my keris.
    we are not a bully.

  19. #19 by homeblogger on Wednesday, 22 October 2008 - 6:36 am

    angryaboutanything Says:

    Yesterday at 22: 40.06

    Have you no shame on keeping labelling the Malays as being lazy. The real fault lies upon the current Federal administation. NOT THE MALAYS! Since when ever did any race was better than another. Iā€™d seen lots of lazy and crooked Chinese my whole life. So should the Malays start calling us that?!


    The “Tuans” I refer to are the UMNO-fed and assisted Tuans.

    Just to put the record straight :

    Yes : I know many, many Malays who are hardworking decent people.
    Yes : MOST Chinese I know are money-hungry almost barbaric in their lust for money, sex and power.

    Yes : The lazy Tuans in this school and many others have grown dependent on the Government for their livelihood not because they wanted to but because of 51 years of racist bias by the government. But what’s worse not is that the Tuans EXPECT that they now be given ALL the extra privileges and benefits.

    For example… what would happen if we cut their Raya holidays to just the 2 days (like CNY and Deepavali)? What if we cease to give discounts to the Tuans for purchase of houses? The Tuans will scream bloody hell don’t you think? That’s because they have grown to BELIEVE and EXPECT privileges and benefits at the expense of other races.

    Yes, change the Government, but will the policies change? We already have a nation full of Tuans who will fight tooth and nail to protect their right to have one week of extra Raya holidays. These Tuans are also in Pakatan – no difference.

    My point is that POLICY in this country is biased towards the TUANS.

  20. #20 by aliew on Wednesday, 22 October 2008 - 8:53 am

    Last weekend, I read a posting by a tourist in the Letter Column of TheStar. (Im quite surprised that it is published)

    The tourist had went to Tourist Info centres around KL and Penang to ask about any national celebration in the month of October. The answer he got was none.

    Mind us that the festival of lights, Deepavali fall on 27th October this year.

  21. #21 by kulo on Wednesday, 22 October 2008 - 8:57 am

    teachers, stop complaining. you sound so pitiful. you should start protesting. either stop attending the meetings or if you still want to attend, make sure you bring this up to the chairperson. but make sure you tell them why you are protesting.

  22. #22 by swipenter on Wednesday, 22 October 2008 - 9:06 am

    Do you guys remember last year how Umno made a big hooha about the newspaper vendors not delivering newspaper after the Umno annual meeting bcos news of their meeting didnt reach the public the next day. The next day happened to be a Hindu festival (cant recall the exact festival) and the news vendor took a day off from delivering papers.

  23. #23 by zak_hammaad on Wednesday, 22 October 2008 - 10:05 am

    I would like someone to name me on country where an exam date was changed in order to accommodate the religious festival of a given section of the population? In Singapore, when Hari Raya fell within an exam week, it was an issue that was non-negotiable and the exams took place as fixed.

  24. #24 by shortie kiasu on Wednesday, 22 October 2008 - 10:56 am

    Either the education minister/dept change the date or you have to move on and make your arrangement. The issue is not worth to be blown out of proportion and become another racial issue.

    Malaysian are over-fed with racial issues day in and day out and never move forward, both the government and the oposition politicians are too keen to jump into the racial bandwagon every so often. Thew country’s citizens are blouted with such issues.

  25. #25 by Penang_soul on Wednesday, 22 October 2008 - 11:47 am

    Who says UMNOPUTRA is not sensitive to other races ? Don’t you dare say that or else UMNOPUTRA’s keris will come for your blood. You must say Malays are the best in the world and the most caring or else it is ISA for you. You just can’t criticise anything about them no matter how true it is and no matter how it is proven again and again. Now they they talk about starting sejarah subject in primary school. You want to know what the main content of the so called Malaysian Sejarah will be :

    -Why the non malays cannot question the malay rights.
    – Who are the bumiputeras ?
    – Who are the pendatangs ? (Non Malays)
    – How tolerant are the malays.
    – kontrak sosial
    – islam etc etc etc

    It won’t be history but UMNO’s propaganda. That’s all

  26. #26 by Stephenlsa on Wednesday, 22 October 2008 - 12:14 pm

    How can Malaysia got so many inconsiderate people didnt care about others. Human nowadays cant be said genus and superb for the increase invention that make our world beautiful, full of technology if we havent a little bit of being considerate , caring about others feeling. I am one of a student of UKM, recently so much idiot playing basketball, talking loudly, playing around in the asrama, open music loudly until we as their asrama mate cant study concentrately, sleeping well. This is not a matter of races or religion but individu who dont border about people feeling. And pls YB Lim Kit Siang dont take all matter as happen because of difference races , your writing may influence many people who read your article, this may or may not be a matter because they are Indian but may be the inconsiderate of individu of Johor who dont care the feeling of the teacher and not the matter of races.
    Our relationship among races is not good enough now, you should help to improve as a parliment member and not worsen it by adding oil on the fire.

  27. #27 by Swarnabumi on Wednesday, 22 October 2008 - 1:43 pm

    Mad Cow Disease Logic (MCDL)
    This ” logic” of Depriving the Indian teachers from having a good time with their families and also Deprive them of some additional income is equivalent to the “logic” of one UNMOputra “leader” recently.
    ” Kalau cabar Utusan Malaysia sama dengan cabar orang Melayu. Cabar orong Melayu sama dengan cabar Umno.”

    Now let us use God given free common sense to analyze this :
    1. What about the Malays in PKR , PAS and others. To “cabar” them which newspaper you must challenge.
    2.That means the Nanyang Sia Pau and Tamil Nesan can write anything and if you “cabar” them it means you are challenging the Chinese and Indians respectively. How about the Sikhs ? At this point of time most Chinese and Indians care the the damn about MCA and MIC.
    3. Today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s scrap/toilet paper. A political party is an organization and not a race or religion. Only fools will equate and link them together for their selfish reasons.

    And with this type of MCDLogic how far can we progress. We are we ever to be competitive and apply core competencies to be like other first world nations. What are we going to leave behind for the next generations to come. A bankrupt nation without any systems?

  28. #28 by sivadurga on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 - 11:49 pm

    Sorry to hear this. I didn’t even thought of this condition. One thing I can say, Dharma wins. May be, it takes time.

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