Why the disbelief? Moral question on ‘Belief in God’ based on textbook, says HM

The 5 tenets of the Rukun Negara according to the Year 6 ‘Pendidikan Moral’ textbook.

PETALING JAYA: The headmaster of a primary school has come forward to clarify a controversial Year 6 mid-term moral exam paper on the Rukun Negara.

The headmaster, from a primary school in Shah Alam, who did not want to be named, said they were just following the government-issued “Pendidikan Moral” textbook printed in 2015.

He said Page 51 of the Year 6 moral education textbook states the Rukun Negara principle of “Belief in God” can be followed by accepting Islam as the official religion of the federation.

“Our question paper follows the textbook. We did not twist any facts,” he told FMT.

The textbook also gives a second interpretation of “Belief in God”, which is to respect all other religions and beliefs of other races. (“Menghormati agama dan kepercayaan perbagai kaum”).

A screenshot of the exam paper was widely questioned by many Malaysians after it was shared on social media.

It showed that the student had answered four questions related to the Rukun Negara but left out the question on what “Belief in God” means.

The Year 6 Moral Education textbook printed in 2015 on which the exam question was based.

The student chose not to tick the answer, which states “to accept Islam as the official religion of the federation”, causing her to lose two marks.

“If we follow our marking scheme, the student will not get the two marks because the question was left unanswered,” he added.

The headmaster expressed shock over the wide criticism the exam paper question received from Malaysians after going viral in social media.

“A lot of people have criticised me, perhaps not realising that the question was based on the textbook.

“They should by right ask me for an explanation first,” he added.

The Rukun Negara was formulated on Aug 31, 1970 in reaction to the May 13 race riots in 1969. It was aimed at uniting the various races in the country and is taught widely in schools.

The five tenets of the Rukun Negara are Belief in God; Loyalty To King and Country; Upholding The Constitution; Rule of Law; Good Behaviour and Morality.