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Student told to remove purdah during exam

 | June 20, 2014

A Universiti Malaya student was humiliated when an invigilator told her to remove her purdah during an exam.

unimalaya_300x200PETALING JAYA: A final-year Universiti Malaya student was forced to take off her purdah (veil) during an examination because the invigilator said it was an offence to cover the face.

According to procedure, female students wearing purdahs are checked at the entrance of the exam hall to prevent identity fraud.

Malay Linguistics student Zulaikha Adam said she and her classmate were forced to remove their veils after the exam started on June 18.

“I was embarrassed and humiliated before others to take off my purdah.

“Why didn’t they conduct a check before the exam?” she asked.

“It will take only a few seconds to verify someone’s identity, rather than forcefully asking us to remove our veils after the exam has started,” she told FMT.

Zulaikha and her classmate, who declined to be identified, said they had never been subjected to such humiliation in their three years at the university.

“This is the first time wearing a purdah has ever been an issue,” she said.

She added that she was threatened that she will be taken to the head invigilator if she refused to remove her purdah.

Association of UM Students deputy secretary Yu Sheng Leong said even though there was such a rule in the UM Constitution 1997, it had been a standard practice for invigilators to check a student’s identification before sitting for an exam.

“The reckless action of the Examination Department to force a student to remove her purdah during an exam is against the fundamental rights of religion,” he said.

He added that Zulaikha should have been allowed to put on her purdah after her identity was verified.


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