Racist teachers and segregated school system

Although the Malay ultra nationalists may deny it, nonetheless the way they talk and behave are no less racist than the whites of South Africa during apartheid.

Despite Umno’s endless denial of an apartheid approach to race relations, the Malay-only party differs only in the degree of its racial segregation policies. In truth, Umno is not much different from the white supremacists in the nature of its racism and apartheid methodology employed.

I have been told that flinging racial slurs are a common happening in national schools (thank God, my mom never sent me to one). The Ketuanan indoctrination has always been there, only that disclosure of the acts of racial and religious bigotry propagated by schoolteachers hadn’t before been given such national prominence. And never the scale of the recent uproar in Kulai, Johor.

The headmistress of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra was said to have insulted Chinese and Indians in front of hundreds of students during school assembly last week, which ironically marked the launch of their Merdeka Day celebrations.

Tens of police reports have been made since then alleging Siti Inshah Mansor to have uttered the derisory and degrading comments, extreme in both its race and religion-slanted denigration. She was said to have described the prayer strings worn by Indians as akin to a dog chain or leash, and that Chinese and Indians are “penumpang” in this country.

One of the police reports by a student also alluded that Siti Inshah is a repeat offender in bullying children. It said that she had ordered the prayer bracelet worn by Hindu students to be cut.

However no disciplinary action has been taken against her, such as demotion in the first instance. She was merely transferred from SMK Kelapa Sawit to her present school located in the same district.

Sweeping problem under the carpet

Education director-general Alimuddin Mohd Dom was quoted as saying that the incident was just “a misunderstanding” and the matter has been resolved.

The Education DG clearly took a prejudicial stand before the slew of serious complaints had been fully investigated. His action has been interpreted as an attempt to protect Siti Inshah.

Many people, especially the parents, perceive that a transfer will not be a deterrent without any accompanying punitive or disciplinary action. It is clear that the culprit’s half-hearted apology and Alimuddin’s excuse on her behalf are hardly adequate.

In fact, when the principal tried to fob off the incident as a mere “misunderstanding” to the students, cries of “pembohong” and “penipu” rang out among those gathered. She is viewed as unfit to be heading a school as the trust of office has already been breached.

The general public, aghast at this incidence of overt Ketuanan Melayu and Ketuanan Islam, expects nothing less than Siti Inshah’s expulsion from the teaching profession. It is further fitting that she should be charged in court under the Penal Code for violating her position as a senior civil servant.

Barisan Nasional must be prepared to show that it is willing to stamp out all forms of racism, including the systematic racism that shackles our society.

Symptomatic of deeper fissures

Why has there been such an outcry over the principal’s uncouth behaviour and racist mindset?

The reason is that Indians and Chinese perceive this outburst to be only the tip of the iceberg. Under the surface is the acute institutionalized racism, especially in the largely mono-racial civil service, and education system that has spawned an almost wholly mono-racial teaching staff in the national schools.

It no longer shocks us when some Malay leaders and students praised Siti Inshah’s aggressive stance as almost heroic.

No less racist than Siti Inshah Mansor was another perpetrator in SMK Bukit Selambau, Kedah. The principal was alleged to have accused non-Malay students eating in the common area as being disrespectful to the fasting month of Ramadan even though the school canteen was closed. Like Ridhuan Tee, this so-called educator wanted the out-group [students] to return to China.

The verbal abuse targetting the minorities in this country has been a series of sustained assaults over the years without any corrective action from the Umno-led Barisan Nasional government.

Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that today the minorities are, rightly, sceptical seeing as how the authorities have not indicated any commitment to fight racism, and Umno Youth chiefs have made it a habit to publicly wave the keris to assert Malay supremacy. Recently, as prominent a personage as ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad was pictured at the Perkasa inaugural congress with the keris-raising Ibrahim Ali.

Like the Malay proverb ‘Bapa borek anak rintik’, what can one expect from a bureaucracy that has been brainwashed by the Biro Tata Negara – which for decades has propagated and propagandized Malay supremacy or Ketuanan Melayu?

No physical barrier but shut out nonetheless

What is the difference between white supremacy in apartheid South Africa and Malay supremacy in Umno’s regime, really?

Firstly, they differ only in the skin colour of the powers-that-be, not in their shared immorality and the moral atrocities that have occurred when the apartheid policies were carried out.

Secondly, they only differ in that one is majority racial dominance and the other minority racial dominance. In fact, majority racial dominance is much harder to break and hence this makes it a greater evil than minority dominance.

The developed countries have shown that civility is gauged on how a minority or minorities are treated by the majority.

The incivility displayed by the two school principals has been equally condemned by my Malay counterparts in PAS and PKR. The affected parents are appreciative of the Malaysian spirit and commitment to justice shown by these Pakatan representatives.

On the other hand, Umno and its accessory to apartheid – MCA and MIC – should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves that we are witnessing episodes like these after they have been ruling the country uninterrupted for so long … more than half a century to be precise.

Education Minister Muhyddin Yassin announced the setting up of a task force to investigate the matter, but only a week after the controversy broke. By the same token, the condemnation of Siti Inshah by Barisan Nasional Youth chief Khairy Jamaludin comes too little too late; the source of the problem can never be its solution.

Siti Inshah, and all those in the political arena and media who have defended her, are a sad reminder of the state of our nation.

Racial integration is still so fragile that we have national schools which are shunned by minority parents. Malaysian children are learning in a segregated environment. When I drive my kids past Mara campuses, I say to them: “Look, there is no (physical) racial segregation here but you cannot study in this university because your skin colour doesn’t look right.”

Just what is the difference between putting up a sign saying “No non-Bumiputeras allowed” and the ‘No coloureds allowed” prohibition reminiscent of apartheid?

So please don’t blame discriminated Malaysians for being wary of national schools. Unless the Ketuanan Melayu of Umno-Perkasa & Co. is dismantled once and for all, few non-Malay parents will want his or her children to be in national school where they are treated so shabbily.

Original link here

Written by Dr Boo Cheng Hau
Monday, 23 August 2010 11:23


  1. what crap that u are mumbling doc? are we the malay is really that bad to u? come on. be honest will u. the chinese here in malaysia are well of better than other countries. u still allowed to have ur own school taught in ur language. still allowed to use ur name. still allowed to do business here and even treated almost equally with the rest. even itm/mara are for bumis only u still have hundreds of private colleges for ur kinds. u really should think well and rationally, ur comment above is also racist as a respond to so called 'racist' apartheid of umno. u should be booooooo!!! with ur comment. oh, wait. even ur name is boo already. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Mr/Ms Anonymous,

    First, you are leaving your message in a WRONG place. Why not just use your real name to leave a comment before you are throwing your allegation to Dr Boo.

    And now you say that is YOU who allow ME to use my language and use MY name in this country.

    Is YOU represent the Constitution of Federation? May I know which article has written your name, I mean YOU, an individual.

    WE have our education without allowance, WE do our business without subsidy, WE have our name because our parents gave us. WE build three colleges with public funding and not thousand of them and we do not take a panny from YOU, an individual.

    WE do not need YOU, an anonymous individual to give us nothing and try to prove to me YOU, an individual are not a "racist" and you do not practice apartheid in this country before you are asking other to go back to their "country".

  3. wah..isn it mr er teck hwa himself responded to my comment. hehehe..cheers.. what an honour. firstly, i dont think that i'm leaving my message at the wrong place. the marvel of internet happens before my very eyes, i can truly sit in front of my laptop and speak screen to screen with an MP. anyway i'm not the government or a politician. just a regular malay guy who is really pissed off with all the nonsense in our society today. but, responding to the article written by dr boo, to accuse the government as practicing apartheid was really too much. the govt has not been that bad to the chinese to earn that apartheid regime status.
    what i'm trying to say in my earlier comments is that other countries where chinese population are scattered for example indonesia and thailand. malaysian govt apartheid regime had never ban ur language and other rights as in other countries. in indonesia, the chinese there weren't allowed to use the name their father had given to them. i dont know about thailand but the chinese of indonesia and thailand werent the same as the chinese in malaysia. so is that mean these countries govt are apartheid too. and one more thing, i had never asked you to go back to ur country.

  4. i'm not a politician and a member of any political parties and had never vote in any elections before. but what interest me is that the racism matter is way too much a hindrance to our nation unity. i'm more interested in suggesting on how to deal with the problem and not to be apart of it. do we really and honestly want to make malaysia as a country worth living in by all its rakyat. my personal opinion, the key to nation building starts from the education system, one school system is the fundamental factor of nation unity. kids regardless of what ethnicities and backgrounds should be educated together so that they would learn how to appreciate and tolerate with one another. teachers too, will work hand in hand, together, not separated according to the type of that particular school. and then, these kids should be treated equally and fairly to fulfill their potential and granted ti tertiary education based on merits. our best of friends and dearest are mostly those whom we share our wonderful years of growing up together. when they are separated, these kids will only growing up hating and despising one another. making friends only with their own groups and uncomfortable when mixing with other races.
    next. policies such as NEP is no longer practical but it should be replace with a policy not just to protect a single ethnic group but the nation at large. those who should be given subsidies and support are the poors and needy. regardless of what race you come from.

  5. Thank "Anonymous",

    Obviously you are now writing with clearer mind then your previous comment. I am leaving to help my PAS fellows preparing bubur lambuk for Buka Puasa. I will discuss this issue with you when I come back.

    And I do monitor my blog regularly and you are talking to a MP, that I can ensure you.

  6. Dr. Boo Never said the systemic apartheid was imposed by "Malays against the Non-Malays". He specifically pointed at "Malay Ultra Nationlists" within UMNO and Perkasa. Maybe PAS and PKR have some Ultra Malay Nationalists. too.

  7. amri said,

    i made the first, 2nd and 3rd anonymous comment. the anonymous' comment above me here was made not by me.

    do you all think that only malay ultra nationalist are only the problem to this nation? is it by dismantling 'keistimewaan dan ketuanan melayu' then all of our problems will be solved and malaysians will live in harmony and united?

  8. I had been busy for last few days and sorry to keep you waiting, as I promised to give you my reply on my point of view regarding this issue.

    So, You said "i had never asked you to go back to ur country", who give you the authority, as an individual to ask ME to go back to MY country? and to be precise, I AM in my country and I don't need to go somewhere else. And in your very first comments, you said "you still allowed to....", so you are trying to say, if YOU, an individual once NOT allow US to go to OUR school, use OUR name, doing OUR business, then what is next?

    And in your early comments, you tends to use Indonesia and Thailand as an example of your stand point. So why not use South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kosov etc for better explanation?

    You, an individual who has better education then me. I come from poor family, I failed my SPM and I never have a change to complete my higher education. But is your family value or your lecturers in the school teach you in such a away that always compare with the people worst then you?

    So, you may say "you should feel lucky because I only kill people, look at those barbarian in deep Beneo Jungle, they kill and eat people." You, in individual may proud of yourself, since you kill and you don't eat people like cannibal. But come to other's perception, you are no different from a barbarian.

    OK. this analogy might not good enough. Lets give you another example. In TBH's court hearing, Abdul Razak at say that Dr.Pornthip's qualification is not recognised in Malaysia. Dr.Pornthip respond and said her university is the top five in Asia. You ask me to compare to other underdevelope countries and say "look at those countries, we are better then them." Are you trying to say that, when you don't recognize Oxford Universiry, does it means that you are better then that?

  9. One thing I agree with you is that "the racism matter is way too much a hindrance to our nation unity".

    I totally agree with your "one school concept", but ideologically. Our nation educational system come with it's history background that you should study. Let's compare our national academical system with other countries in Asia. I take Taiwan as an very good example. Now you say we toward wawasan 2020, we want to be a develope country. But we can't even have sufficient reference books and complete database in our own national language. Taiwan learned their experiences by sending their students out to many develope countries during 1980' and 70'. These people finished their research and continue working in those western big corporations. When the Taiwan Government started to kick off their industrial program, they ware called back. These people were assigned for high position in national research center. They contribute to the industry with their knowledge and experience. Do you know what is their first thing to do when they came back to Taiwan? They translate all technical documents into Chinese language.

    If you have also studied The Meiji Restoration of Japan, same pattern had also been applied. The King of Japan instruct a constitution to do translation for all impotent literature from Germany, France and United Kindom.

    But our national fail to do that, and they don't care. Undergraduate read their refrence book in English and they are expected in come out their treatise in Bahasa.

    You probably do not notice what damaging will be brought to our national language development when you can't even catch up with latest terminology.

    We communicate with foreign workers in bahasa because this is the only language he/she can understand. We communicate with our Indian voters beacuse I can't speak in Tamil and he/she does not understand english. What is the implication of this phenomena? It means when a language become piratical, everyone will learn it.

    You can't just shout at people and say "that is OUR national language and everyone should speak in ONE language!" If you don't realise this, let me remind you, in cabinet, they conduct the meeting in english, not malay although the meeting minute might be in malay.

  10. amri said:

    YB er teck hwa, thanks for your responds. very much appreciated. i shall try to answer them in orderly manner:

    1. my comment on "who gave me the authority to ask u to go back to ur country" was a merely an expression i had used to say that ME, as an individual had never stated any comment that i had mentioned on asking anyone to leave Malaysia. what authority do i have for me to say that.

    2. i had used thailand and indonesia as an example to the treatment by their goverment in respective countries when dealing with nationality issues of their people. to compare malaysia with both countries is acceptable for me as they are the nearest geographically and almost have similar racial diversities. thailand and indonesian chinese were assimilated into the nations that they were living in. as a result, their identities were associated with their country rather than their race. if i'm not mistaken, and do correct me if i'm wrong, previous thai prime minister, mr. thaksin is a thai chinese. but not many people noticed his race. and indonesian badminton players such as, ardy wiranata, alan budikusuma and others were also indonesian chinese, but not many of us too know it for their indonesian identity are stronger compared with chinese in malaysia. and these thailand and indonesian chinese speaks their national language as their 1st language.

    3. thanks for ur info about taiwan and japan. and i think that what happened in taiwan also happened in singapore. when the expats left, the locals from civil servants were trained to be succesful businessmen, except they were all used english. koreans too had grew into a developed country with their language as the lingua franca.

    but my argument on one school system is as a tool for national unity. students and children must be educated in the same school, the teachers too should have been working together when nurturing our young generations. not indian teachers only educating indian children, chinese teachers only teaching chinese students and malay teachers educating malay students. national unity will never work this way. kids were being divided since they were young, to make friends only to their kind. how do we expect for our young generation to be united when they were separated based on race since 'darjah satu?'. growing up separately would only making them a people with no respect, tolerance, sensitive and understanding towards others. the current system is indeed the foundation of racism in malaysia.

    i do notice that some government meeting are held in english. and most private sectors used english fully in their business. but this is a different matter. there's nothing wrong to be multilingual, and it is an advantage for us malaysian to be able to converse in many language. the rakyat's mind will be more open and able to interact with the outside world better.

  11. AMRI SAID:

    and one more thing that i would like to say to you, "SELAMAT HARI MERDEKA"!!!!!

  12. thanks Amri Said, this is the first time I know your name. And I wishes you a peaceful and harmony Bulan Ramadhan.

    Since I am busy today, I promise you to respond to your message tomorrow (1st Sept).

    And I am happy to have some "hardcore" discussion with you. Stay tune. Good night.

  13. Dear Amri Said, still can't preserve time to reply you. But I will use this topic "unity and our educational system" to write a new post. Ww will come to this topic in depth.

    I appreciate your sharing indeed. Thank you very much.