Wednesday July 14, 2010
Get consent to form non-Muslim groups
KUALA LUMPUR: Schools intending to form non-Muslim societies have to get consent fro m the state education director, according to an Education Ministry circular dated Dec 16, 2000.
However, non-Muslim religious societies that already exist in schools pr ior t o 2000 can continue with their activities without having to apply for approval from the ministry.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong was responding to a report that the Selangor education department had directed three clubs at Klang High School – Kelab Agama Hindu, Kelab Agama Buddha and the Christian Union – to be dissolved.
The directive was purportedly made after the newly-appointed senior assistant in charge of the school’s co-curricular activities wrote to the department, allegedly instructed by the school principal, to check if all its societies had been approved.
Following the media report, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism, sought a clarification on the matter from the department.
Council president Rev Dr Thomas Philips said an explanation should be given to parents and the public on the reas ons for the directive.
Speaking to reporters after presenting scholarships and bursaries to over 100 students at Shell’s Student Excellence Awards here yesterday, Dr Wee said the ministry had asked the Selangor education department to rectify the situation at Klang High School.
He said the procedure for the formation of non-Muslim religious societies in schools was clearly stated in the December 2000 circular.
“I have checked with the education director-general. In fact, I was with the Selangor education director as well. The circular clearly spelled out the things that had to be done by the dep artment,” Dr Wee said.
“This issue is not a problem. Previously, there may have been misinterpretations about the circular. Now it is clear that it can be followed.”