Education ministry denies ‘Hindu’ pupil forced to take Islamic studies

The education ministry says the pupil has been taking Moral Studies. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The education ministry has refuted news reports that a “Hindu” pupil was forced to take Islamic Studies, pointing out that the nine-year-old has been attending moral classes since she began schooling two years ago.

Education director-general Amin Senin said the school allowed the pupil, identified as M Luganeshvari, to enrol in Moral Studies, based on the information provided by her father.

“The school was made to understand that she was a Hindu and therefore allowed her to take moral classes,” he said in a statement.

Yesterday, it was reported that Grab driver P Manivanan filed a complaint with the Education Department that his daughter, now in Year Three, was being forced to take Islamic Studies in school despite the fact that his wife was seeking to renounce Islam.

Manivanan claimed that his wife was born a Hindu, but was converted by her parents when she was three years old.

When he married her, she applied to the shariah court in Shah Alam to have her Muslim status annulled.

Amin also revealed that Luganeshvari was allowed to register for schooling without any documents and till today, the parents had yet to furnish the school with her birth certificate.

However, a check with the National Registration Department lists Luganeshvari and her mother as Muslim.

Amin said the law stipulated that Muslims must take Islamic studies.

“The education ministry understands the situation faced by the parents and we will leave it to the courts to decide on the religious status of the pupil and her mother. We will take the necessary action based on the court’s decision.”