Friday, July 21, 2006

New Module For Ethnic Relations Subject

Higher Education Minister, Mustapa Mohamed ate humble pie when he was forced to announce that his ministry will come up with a new module for the teaching of Ethnic Relations subject in all Public Universities following the withdrawal of the first guidebook by the government two days ago.

The new module would be produced as soon as possible and would be submitted to the Cabinet for approval. It would have 10 main programmes on the constitution, economic policy, Islam and 'other matters'. The module used at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) had caused a controversy because it was believed to touch on sensitive issues such as the May 13 and Kampung Medan incidents. Several Members of Parliament (MP) had objected to the use of the module, claiming the facts in it were inaccurate.

On the fighting among students in the UPM cafeteria last Monday, Mustapa was a little more circumspect this time (once bitten twice shy?) when he said that he had asked the university to take immediate action. About 50 "pro-establishment" students took the law into their own hands and manhandled seven students who are members of an organisation perceived to be "anti-establishment" last Monday. What action the UPM authorities are going to take against their 'blue-eyed' thugs will be interesting to see. We'll soon know if there are different standards of punishment for 'pro' and 'anti'-establishment students.

Subang Jaya police chief ACP Mohd Fuad Talib said police have received five reports from the students and the investigations revealed that the incident arose as a result of a misunderstanding over an event organised by the students.

Before I end this post I wish to ask all of you a question. With so much of controversy regarding the earlier biased module and with the attendant adverse publicity, do you think its a good idea to persist in having an ethnic relations course? What is to stop the administration from appointing fanatical dickheads who could possibly hijack these courses to spread their skewed version of race-relations? Its happened before in other institutions and if what I am told is true it still occurs on a daily basis at teacher training colleges where students of 'other' races are humiliated with incorrect references to their culture, religious practices and dietary habits. Your feedback is welcome.


Blogger Billy said...

This whole ethnic relations course is nothing but a crap. We didn't have such courses back in the 50s, 60s & 70s and we got along fine because our education system was based on a neutral language, English. So when the system was switched to BM, the standard starts to drop and in the process we start to breed hatred, suspicions and fear among the various community. What the government is doing now is damage control but shooting themselves in the foot in the process.

6:44 PM GMT+8  
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