Home English News “Why the deafening silence on religious module in public schools?” -Ramasamy

“Why the deafening silence on religious module in public schools?” -Ramasamy

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COMMENT BY PROF DR P.RAMASAMY
FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER II, PENANG

Why the deafening silence on religious module in public schools?

Either Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim or the Minister of Education Fadlina Sidek must explain to the public about new “Imam AI-Nawawi’s 40 Hadith module” that is going to be introduced in public schools.

Whether the religious module is meant for Muslim students or for all the students remains unclear.

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Right now, apart from the statement issued by the deputy minister of education, Lim Hui Ying, why are the top leaders including the top civil servants in the ministry of education tight lipped about this module.

This could perhaps explain why the Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) raised the question of the unconstitutionality of the introduction of the Hadith Module in public schools, national and national-type schools. This includes the vernacular Chinese and Tamil streams of education.

If Hui Ying says that the Hadith Module is confined to Muslim students, then why the necessity to introduce in vernacular schools where the student population is predominantly non-Malay and non-Muslim.

The Federal Constitution is very clear on the role of religions in the country. While Islam is the official religion of the country, other religions coexist in a harmonious manner.

In the spirit and substance of the Constitution, Islamic religious education cannot be thrust on the public schools that have substantial number of non-Muslim students.

There is no necessity for the Hui Ying to soft pedal the introduction of the Hadith Module as though it only meant for Muslim students in public schools.

Why is Fadlina who is gung-ho about the necessity of religious module silent on its implementation.

Is there an unexplained mystery surrounding the module?

Of all the officials, she should be in the forefront explaining the necessity of the religious module, its applicability, what it means to the non-Muslim students and others.

Somehow or rather, I think that there is mystery surrounding the introduction of the module, that might not have caught the eye of the deputy education minister.

I tend to think that the unity government had made the decision to move to the right long before the results of the recent state elections.

Additional funding for Islamic institutions such as JAKIM and others are the tell tales signs of the swing of the government to the right to appease political Islam.

The Hadith Module in schools seems to be in line of thinking of the government to ingratiate itself to the conservatives in Islam.

Whether such move will reduce the impact of the green wave remains to be seen. It is too late to bring back the horses to the stable after the door has been left opened for a while.

It is understandable and not understandable, why the government has to move to the right as though it is the one and only solution.

But why punish the non-Muslims when they have stood behind the unity government in the last federal and subsequent state elections.

Why are the non-Malay political representatives silent on the matter of the political appeasement. What is the point of having solid backing of the non-Malays in the unity government, but yet silent on the erosion of the fundamental rights of non-Malays in the country.

Instead of opposing the Hadith Module, the non-Malay political operatives are justifying and condoning it.

It is not the just the recent religious conversion presided by Anwar, but the religious module demonstrates once again that non-Malays or non-Muslims can be dispensed with in the country.

The more the non-Malays support the unity government, the more they seem to lose.

Can someone out there explain the paradox?