Exam questions on Ethnic Relations taken out of context, says UniMAP

UniMAP vice-chancellor R Badlishah Ahmad says the exam papers were in line with the topic ‘Challenges of Ethnic Relations and Current Issues’. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Following an investigation, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) says the questions in an Ethnic Relations exam paper which stirred controversy were taken out of context.

UniMAP vice-chancellor R Badlishah Ahmad said the formulating of the questions had gone through the proper academic procedures, and the panel that vetted the questions comprised individuals of different races and academic fields.

“The questions which were considered to be touching on racial sensitivities went viral because they were taken out of the context of the teaching and learning objectives of this course.

“With that said, our investigations found that there was a blunder in translating the word ‘ignorant’ to ‘bodoh’ (stupid) for answer choice IV of question 60,” he told FMT today.

Badlishah said the questions were in line with the topic of the exam paper, “Challenges of Ethnic Relations and Current Issues”, and that the course was meant to create a Malaysian society based on “Malaysia’s own mould”.

He reiterated that the university will be reviewing the vetting process of questions, adding that opinion-based questions will no longer be multiple-choice questions (MCQ) while MCQs will only pertain to factual and theoretical questions.

Before this, the university stirred controversy when a question in its Ethnic Relations exam paper appeared to praise controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik as an Islamic “icon”.

Klang MP Charles Santiago then highlighted that there were other controversial questions in the test which, he said, were offensive to the Indian community and to those who were opposed to the introduction of Jawi in schools.