Kula wants ministry to denounce UTM lecturer

M Kulasegaran

KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry should issue a statement denouncing a Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) lecturer’s derogatory remarks on Hinduism and Sikhism. “The Ministry should show the people that the government views seriously such an act that has hurt the feelings of Hindus and Sikhs,” said Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran in a statement.

The Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, he recalled, had previously called on the people to unite against extremism.

Unless tough action was taken against the lecturer involved, the MP vowed that he would pursue the issue in the coming parliamentary meeting. “There have been police reports lodged against the act.”

“I hope the police will investigate if the act is a bigger issue that Malaysians should worry about, that is the presence of religious extremists in our universities.”

He warned that there must be “zero tolerance” for derogatory statements like that uttered by the errant UTM lecturer.

The MP was commenting on UTM Vice-Chancellor, Wahid Omar, “taking the right and necessary step to express the university’s utmost regret and deep remorse” for the lack of sensitivity on the part of their lecturers for the Titas (Tamadun Islam Tamadun Asia – Asian and Islamic Civilisation) subjects.

It must be stressed that this will not be sufficient for the act committed by the lecturer, stressed Kulasegaran. “If the lecturer has made a factual error, then he is simply not qualified to teach.”

“His employment with the university should be terminated.”

If he has ill intent and has deliberately deviated from the course‘s stated objective of promoting national harmony, added Kulasegaran, then all the more reason that his service should be terminated.

There must be zero tolerance for such unprofessional, insensitive, provocative and insulting acts happening at a university where students are to acquire knowledge, skills and learn about truth, he reiterated.

Hence, he continued, there must be zero compromise on such acts. “Whoever was involved must be sacked by the university.”