An emergency motion filed by opposition parliamentarian Er Teck Hwa to admonish an invigilator who allegedly uttered racial slurs was rejected in chambers today.
parliament pandikar amin anwar ibrahim lim kit siang dap pkr pc 121108 02Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia (left) denied the motion as there was no urgency in the matter as the government has taken steps to reprimand the teacher.
“I understand that the Education Ministry has formed a special committee to decide on the appropriate action against the teacher,” said Pandikar.
Er (DAP-Bakri) filed the urgent motion under Standing Order 18(1) yesterday claiming that a secondary school teacher from Port Dickson made racist remarks when invigilating the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination at a school in Lukut, Negeri Sembilan.
The MP stated that teacher angered a group of students who walked into the exam hall late on Nov 24 told them to “return to China” to the Chinese and told the Indians to “go back to India” if they did not understand the instructions.
He urged Parliament to impose stringent measures against such acts as it disrupted racial harmony.
In a press conference at the Parliament lobby, Er said setting up a special committee is “pointless” as it does not have the power to move on such issues.
“On Sept 23, the Education Minister (Muhyiddin Yassin) said that (school) principals are under Grade 52 and he (Muhyiddin) cannot take any actions against civil servants who are in grade 48 and above,” argued Er.
“If indeed what the minister said is true, then what is the point of the ministry having a special committee?” he asked.
This is the third known incident since August.
In the first in Kulai Jaya, Johor, Siti Aishah Mansor, the principal of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, made similarly racist remarks against Chinese and Indian students during a school function.
Shortly after this, another principal, Ungku Aznan Ungku Ismail, of SMK Bukit Selambau (SMKBS), Sungai Petani, had made racist remarks during morning assembly after being angered by the sight of Chinese students having breakfast at the canteen during the fasting month.
Muhyiddin: Only PSD can take action
Muhyiddin, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said only the Public Services Department (PSD) can take action against principles holding such ranks.
muhyiddin yassin pc 170310“In disciplinary matters concerning high ranking government officers above the pay grade 48, there are rules.
“The minister cannot make decisions, so the cases that involve certain (disciplinary) matters has to be decided by the disciplinary committee under the director-general (of PSD),” Muhyiddin (right) had said.
He said that the ministry has concluded its own internal investigation and has handed over its findings to the director-general of PSD.
Action is still pending in the case of Siti Aishah but Ungku Aznan has been transferred out of the school to the district education department.
Er added that the racist slurs by the invigilator was not only “irresponsible” but it could have also “perturbed the emotions” of the students sitting for the exam on that day.
“Such racist statements by teachers are still rampant and no drastic action has been taken to curb such incidents,” said Er.
Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong, when met by reporters at the Parliament, said that the teacher has been relieved from her invigilating duties in the ongoing examinations pending a probe.
“A ministry official will take over and continue in her absence,” he said.
Wee said the matter has been submitted to the special committee under the purview of the Education Ministry secretary-general and it is currently reviewing the complaint.
“The former director-general (of education) has already issued a letter to be careful with sensitive issues. Just a gentle reminder before more complications arise,” he said.