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Hold inquiry on UTM slides insulting Hindus, Sikhs

Hold inquiry on UTM slides insulting Hindus, Sikhs

  | June 14, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Hindraf Makkal Sakthi wants the Education Minister to hold an inquiry on a slide presentation at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) which deliberately insulted Hindus and Sikhs.

The Education Minister should immediately suspend the relevant lecturers involved in creating “disharmony” among the student population in UTM, demanded Hindraf Chair P Waythamoorthy in a statement. “Such irresponsible and unconscionable behaviour should not be allowed.”

“Any inaction would go to show the government’s tacit support to promote hate and bigotry in educational institutions.”

The offending slides, said the Hindraf chief, claimed that Islam was introduced courtesy to Hindus in India, and taught them the importance of personal hygiene and a healthy lifestyle. The slides alleged, he added, that personal hygiene was against the beliefs of Hindus. “The slides preached that assuming and maintaining dirt and an unhygienic lifestyle was part of slaving oneself to achieve nirvana (state of eternal bliss).”

Having insulted and misled the students, fumed Waytha, UTM does not have the decency and courtesy to apologise to Hindus and Sikhs. Instead, he lamented, Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan has been trotting out lame excuses on the university’s behalf.

The Hindraf statement stressed that the human rights movement was furious with the UTM module for humiliating members of the Hindu and Sikh faiths.

The skewed teaching at a government university, driven by an inferiority complex, was deliberately meant to denigrate the beliefs of Hindu and Sikh students,” charged Waytha. “This is typical of lecturers, in public universities, who have been trained under the racist and religious supremacist Biro Tata Negara (BTN), a body fully funded by the government.”

The mini Napoleons within the bureaucracy are disintegrating the community through the BTN content which reeks of racism and bigotry, continued the Hindraf Chief who was briefly in the Federal Cabinet and the Senate after the 2013 General Election.

The Ministry of Higher Education introduced Tamadun Islam dan Tamadun Asia (TITAS) – Islamic and Asian Civilization – in 1999 in government-run universities.

Apparently, the objective of the syllabus was to inculcate an appreciation of philosophy, values and history, and broaden knowledge, according to the Malaysian way, to create national harmony, unity and integration within the context of a multicultural nation.

There’s a basic module, published by Universiti Malaya in 1999 under the direction of the Ministry of Higher Education, to be used as the reference book with additional supporting materials.