PETALING JAYA: There was no coercion on a Year Three pupil to take up Islamic Studies as claimed by several online news portals, says the Education Ministry’s director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin.
“In relation to the Malaysiakini report titled ‘Father wants Education Ministry’s attention: Claims Hindu student forced to take up Islamic Studies’, the ministry wishes to clarify that the school authorities did not force the student to take up Islamic Studies as reported in the portal and several other media outlets,” he said in a media statement issued Tuesday (Feb 5).
Following checks by the ministry, he said the student had been following Moral Studies since she began schooling two years ago and is still currently being taught the subject.
“The school authorities allowed the student to follow the subject based on information provided by her father who did not provide her birth certificate.
“Based on the initial information provided by the father, the school authorities assumed the child was a Hindu and in this category, she was allowed to follow the Moral Studies class,” he added.
For the record, Dr Amin noted that the Negeri Sembilan Education Department allowed the student to be registered without documentation in 2017 and to date, her parents have yet to present her birth certificate as required.
“Upon closer examination, media reports revealed that the student was registered as a Muslim with the National Registration Department as her mother was a Muslim.
“Under the Education Act 1996, every Muslim student must follow Islamic Studies,” he said, adding that it was a compulsory subject for Muslim students under the National Curriculum.
Based on this, he added, there was no issue as school authorities would not be deemed to have forced a Muslim student to take up the subject.
However, Dr Amin said the ministry was aware of the situation faced by the girl’s parents as the status of her mother’s religion is under appeal with the courts.
“The ministry leaves it to the courts to decided on the matter.
“Appropriate action will be taken in line with the pending court decision,” he added.
On Monday (Feb 4), Malaysiakini reported that a Hindu father filed a complaint with the Education Department that his “Hindu” daughter was being forced to take Islamic Studies in school even though the child’s mother was born a Hindu and is seeking a court decision to renounce Islam.
Malaysiakini reported that the father, identified as 50-year-old Grab driver P. Manivanan, had requested the Education Ministry’s intervention to resolve the dispute faced by his nine-year-old daughter Luganeshvari.
It was reported that the man’s wife was born a Hindu but her parents converted to Islam when she was three-years-old and she was given the name Siti Fatimah Paramaswari.
However, when Paramaswari was 18, she married Manivanan and applied to the Shah Alam Syariah Court to have her Muslim status annulled.
Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/02/05/education-dg-says-no-coercion-on-year-three-pupil-to-take-up-islamic-studies/#QwW3SSbSvKL9pZ4w.99