KUALA LUMPUR: The education ministry has taken “stern action” against one of its officers after the latter banned two traditional Tamil songs from being performed at a carnival in Penang on Thursday.
However, education minister Fadhlina Sidek did not reveal the action taken.
“My ministry would also like to apologise to the Indian community over the blunder. It should have not occurred,” she told the Dewan Rakyat when winding up the debate on the supply bill 2024 at the committee level.
Fadhlina went on to say that the song, titled, “Tamil Valthu”, which is about the Tamil language will be performed during the Penang Deepavali celebration on Nov 29.
The other song was titled, “Kadavul Valthu”, a worship song.
Earlier, P Prabakaran (PH-Batu) demanded an apology from those responsible. He said the incident at the event organised by the education ministry had “hurt the Indian community” since the songs were part of a tradition for Tamil schools.
Prabakaran also claimed that pictures of Tamil literary and philosophical figure Thiruvalluvar were banned from being displayed during the carnival and demanded an explanation from the minister.
The apology by the minister led to RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) declaring that there was no need for a new Indian-based party, in what was seen as a veiled dig against former Penang deputy chief minister P Ramasamy.
“This coalition is enough,” he said, referring to Pakatan Harapan (PH).
“There is no need for a new party to protect the rights of the Indian community as Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will take care of all Malaysians.”
On Sunday, Ramasamy launched a new Indian-based party called United for the Rights of Malaysians Party or Urimai.