Why have non-muslims religious societies in Klang High School been dissolved?


The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism & Taoism (MCCBCHST) notes the report on page 8 of The Sun (12 July 2010) that in Klang High School “… the Kelab Agama Hindu, Kelab Agama Buddha and the Christian Union have to be dissolved immediately” and that an announcement to this effect was made at the school assembly last week.”

There are very serious implications of such an action and therefore MCCBCHST seeks immediate confirmation from the Selangor Education Department whether this has indeed transpired and if so, a prompt explanation should be given to parents and the Malaysian public at large as to the reason/s for such a directive. If in fact such a directive had indeed been given, MCCBCHST would like to express its disappointment that there was no prior consultation with it over such a serious matter as this.

Owing to the gravity of such an issue, the Ministry of Education too cannot remain silent.

Needless to say, if indeed such a directive to close non-Muslim religious societies in schools or to not permit the setting up of such societies in schools, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of National Unity should not be in doubt that MCCBCHST shall protest such a policy with the strongest possible vehemence.

MCCBCHST with its member bodies shall, however, be ready to assist the Ministry of Education in any way we can to ensure goodwill and mutual respect amongst all Malaysian students.

Rev. Dr Thomas Philips,
MCCBCHST President,
12 July 2010


Don’t poison children’s minds

REGULARS of this column would have remembered the number of times this writer has reiterated that he would not write on race, religion or politics. The reason for this was simple – I have always believed in one race – the Malaysian race long before 1Malaysia, and that religion is a personal thing and that none has the right to advocate one is better than the other. As for politics and the dirt it brings out, the least said, the better. Yes, I mix with politicians from both sides of the divide (some of them have become good friends) but except for the general elections when all hands are on deck for a small crew like ours, the intra and inter-party bickering, the name calling, accusations and the lies that are perpetrated become unpalatable.

I am making an exception, nearly eight years after my self-imposed gag-order. I am doing it reluctantly after seeing how children at the age of 12, are being compelled to see themselves being segregated by race and religion. It sad that almost every issue is seen through the eyes of race or religion. Even scholarships for good students who excel academically are transformed by certain parties into “you got more than me” games. What is more pathetic is the one-upmanship practised by a few and the many who wait on the sidelines to score cheap political points. And yet, we go around talking about integration, unity and the like, and not practising what we are preaching.

There’s religious education and there’s the learning of one’s mother tongue or what they called “pupil’s own language” in our days in school. On Friday, I took a trip to my alma mater after more than 40 years (I used to go for its sports day or play cricket but these were limited to the school field). While waiting to meet the principal of the Klang High School, I couldn’t help but read the notices on the board. One involved the enrolment in what has now become a co-educational school. It gave the breakdown of the enrolment of each class by gender and race. The statistics made interesting reading and we will save it for another day.

The visit was prompted by complaints from parents that the “headmistress has dissolved all non-Muslim religious societies” in the school, which I later found out, was not true. The decision was not made by the headmistress – it was made by the Selangor Education Department.

Since the headmistress was not around, she asked one Mrs Chen, the teacher in charge of co-curriculum, to address the issue. She had a chat with me. “I am new. I only came in February. When I took over the guru besar asked me to check if all the clubs and societies in the school have been approved by the department. I went through the files and there were no approvals. So, I was asked to write to check if they had been approved.”

She wrote in March and last week, a note came from the department – the Kelab Agama Hindu, Kelab Agama Buddha and the Christian Union have to be dissolved immediately. An announcement to this effect was made at the school assembly last week.

But hadn’t these societies existed in the school for years? No one raised an issue; no one objected to their existence and as usual, students were allowed to take part in them. Were they previously in existence illegally and students who had participated in them could be considered past members of “secret societies”? It is merely an administrative decision to legalise (for the lack of a better word) these clubs. Couldn’t the school be told to make a fresh application for approval pending which activities can continue? How come they have to be dissolved while similar clubs in other schools can continue to exist?

As many students are members of these societies and as co-curricular activities form part of the grading for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations, it is causing concern. With three months to go before their exams, why are students put under such pressure? Do they now have to scramble to be members of other societies?

My umbrage is on two issues – don’t mess with our children’s education and don’t inculcate differentiation or classification to children based on religion. They will start viewing things from a racial and religious perspective. Once these are ingrained in their minds, no amount of program muhibbah or kursus toleransi is going to help. For the sake of the future of this nation, stop messing around with our children – the leaders of the future.

R. NADESWARAN‘S “homecoming” was somewhat sombre seeing and hearing the deterioration of standards at the Klang High School which gave him a foundation in education, sports and leadership.

  1. #1 by raven77 on Monday, 12 July 2010 - 9:35 pm

    Perhaps the PR needs to get its act right in Selangor and go after the Selangor Education Department and the School itself…perhaps less PKR politicking and looking into these day to day important issues is what is going to matter come GE 2013….or is it the silent work of Hassan Ali and co…come on PR…get your act right…at this rate Selangor is going to be lost…

  2. #2 by jus legitimum on Monday, 12 July 2010 - 9:50 pm

    Effort must be made to identify and punish the religious zealot in the Selangor Education Department who highhandedly shut down the three non muslim clubs in the school.As the rate it goes,this country really has no future if the people are still divided by religious and racial issues.Come GE 13,the PR should topple the current rotten BN administration and bring hope to the creation of a new nation free from all the nonsensical and time wasting religious and racial issues.

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Monday, 12 July 2010 - 11:54 pm

    In 1Malaysia terms, there can only be 1.

    Let us see what Muhyiddin’s response is going to be. And what actions Idris Jala and Koh Tsu Koon will take.

    Will it be on the agenda of this week’s Cabinet meeting?

  4. #4 by monsterball on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 - 10:22 am

    These are sick actions by sick racists with sick minds to learn half truths and nothing else.

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 - 12:01 am

    Dis is 1M’sia mah – 1 supreme ketuanan M
    Those who voted 4 BN pls look at d mirror again n cross your heart

  6. #6 by mauriyaII on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 - 9:48 pm

    Education departments come under the federal government. PR is in no position to do anything about this latest episode.

    In fact PR politicians are not allowed to grace any school function in their official capacity. For example they can’t even be invited to be the guest of honour of PTA functions or for that matter even the school annual sports. This the directive from the Education Ministry.

    The directive to dissolve all religious clubs except the Islamic one is a very myopic decision. The officier at the Selangor Education Ministry is another Little Napoleon trying to brandish his Perkasa credentials. He is desperately trying to discredit the PM’s 1Malaysia initiative.

    Directives of this kind has no place in a multi-racial and multi-religious country. Though Islam is the official state religion, other religions are allowed to be practised under the Malaysian constitution. As such talibans who play the racial and religious cards for political milage or to score brownie points should be told off in no uncertain terms.

  7. #7 by HARGA diri on Thursday, 15 July 2010 - 2:23 am

    The headmistress should make a proposal to the education ministry to transform the Klang high school into another agama school. That way the public knows what the school stands for.

  8. #8 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 15 July 2010 - 12:07 pm

    Most “High Schools” including Klang High School would have existed during the time of the British Administration i.e. before World war II, perhaps long before this upstart headmistress was even born.

    OK, when was there ever any Ministerial or even Departmental approvals needed for societies, eh? Insofar, as students of the 50’s, 60’s, (probably) 70’s, 80’s and 90’s too, are aware, all societies existed and conducted their activities “at the pleasure” of the school headmaster and disciplinary masters. If they are deemed wholesome and meets the needs of students, help in their social, academic, yes, holistic development, headmasters simply “sanction” their formation and activities. There was no time for the rigmaroles of bureaucracy. And everything went well and dandy till some bureaucratic headmistress with little in her head except forms and formalities come around to straitjacket today’s twenty-first millenium students. Can u imagine?

    Argh! I wouldn’t normally cast pearls before lesser creatures but now we have the likes of Muhyiddin and his cahoots of do-nothing but big-talk, hot-air blowers trying to create the impression of “work” for themselves. Much of what they do is so infantile, so silly and so lost. This is why our education system is such a monumental disaster. And I mean this seriously. I wouldn’t even send my dogs to these government schools today! Yikes, they are so sub-standard; they would simply teach them to bark up the wrong trees.

    OK, I read about this piece only lately but imagine the shock and disgust I feel along with thousands, maybe tens of thousands of others.

    Sorry, BN. U r just too stupid to administer this country. Even the dogs know that.

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