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‘Plain stupid’ to separate cups in school, says G25

 | August 10, 2017

Amanah vice-president Mujahid Rawa also describes cup segregation policy as too 'rigid' and says Islam doesn't demand this.

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PETALING JAYA: As expected, a primary school’s policy of segregating drinking cups for Muslim and non-Muslim students has been slammed, with the G25 group of former civil servants describing it as “plain stupid”.

Earlier today, checks by FMT at Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Puteri in Hulu Langat confirmed pictures in social media that the school had separated cups at the drinking water dispenser by labelling the cups with “Muslim” and “non-Muslim” tags.

The school has declined comment, while attempts to reach Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid and Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan have been unsuccessful.

Things like this will only create divisions among Malaysians, says Johan.

Things like this will only create divisions among Malaysians, says Johan.

Weighing in on the issue, G25 member Johan Arriffin said incidences like this made him fear where Islam was heading in the country.

“Things like this will only create divisions among Malaysians in the name of so-called religious practices.

“In fact, it shows how much we’ve lost our sense of what religious values actually mean — religious values like tolerance.”

Johan said on matters like what is halal, what was important was cleanliness and hygiene, rather than whether a non-Muslim used a cup.

“With a cup, you wash it and it’s clean. It doesn’t matter whether it is used by a Muslim or not. To have separate cups is plain stupid.”

He added that if everyone were to adopt a mindset of segregation between Muslims and non-Muslims, the issue would never end.

“You’ll have a situation where you have to separate everything, from utensils to the person preparing the meals. It’s ridiculous.”

‘Islam doesn’t ask for this’

Mujahid: Islam does not ask for this

Mujahid: Islam does not ask for this

Amanah vice-president Mujahid Yusof Rawa described the segregation of the cups as “unfortunate” as the drinking water dispenser presented a chance for Muslims and non-Muslims to share something and there wasn’t anything wrong with that.

“Even when a Chinese eats in a Malay shop, they will use the same plate and utensils as the Muslims. There isn’t a problem with that.

“In Islam, when a Muslim goes anywhere to eat or drink, he shouldn’t ask if the cups or utensils are used by non-Muslims. You’re supposed to take it at face value that they are clean.”

He added that this policy of segregating cups was a “rigid practice” which could lead to other problems and that “Islam does not ask for this.”

MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Ti Lian Ker hit out at the policy, saying it promoted prejudice among students.

School must stop polarising practice and apologise to parents and students, says MCA's Ti.

School must stop polarising practice and apologise to parents and students, says MCA’s Ti.

“As a school head, the former headmaster of SK Taman Puteri should be setting a positive example among his pupils, teachers and staff by imparting the values of 1Malaysia, unity in diversity and not racism or religious superiority over others.”

Ti said schools should never introduce policies which will leave an “indelible erroneous impression” on young minds that racial or religious domination and disrespect are justifiable or acceptable.

He added that the authorities must now check if the headmaster who implemented the policy, and has since been transferred, is introducing bigoted practices in his new school as well.

If so, Ti proposed that the headmaster be suspended.

“The education ministry must immediately instruct the current administrator of SK Taman Puteri to withdraw this polarising practice, and apologise to all students and parents.

“It should commence teaching the values of multiculturalism and friendship, irrespective of faith.”

The incident at SK Taman Puteri isn’t the first time the segregation of Muslim and non-Muslim students has been proposed.

Three years ago, a primary school in Setapak proposed separating Muslim and non-Muslim students, apparently to address a shortage of teachers, causing uneasiness among parents.

The school had argued that this arrangement was to manage the teaching of Islamic Studies and Arabic for Muslims, and the subjects of Moral, Mandarin and Tamil for non-Muslims.

In 2013, Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Pristana in Sungai Buloh came under fire after non-Muslim students were told to have their meals in a room adjoining a toilet during the month of Ramadan in apparent deference to their Muslim friends who were fasting.


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