THE news that one in two Malaysians faced discrimination in schools and that ethnic Indians had the worst experience is a stunning revelation on Malaysia Day, said Malaysian Indian Voice (MIV) founder and advisor Pappa Raidu Veraman.
He was referring to a recent survey by the Sekolah Semua youth movement, with the survey revealing that more ethnic Indians in Malaysia felt that they suffered from discrimination in the country’s education system compared to other ethnic groups.
The survey, titled ‘Discrimination in Education Survey’, found that nine in 10 ethnic Indian respondents or 87% said they felt discriminated in schools because of their ethnicity alone, followed by skin colour (69%) and religious beliefs (65%).
Around three-quarters of them pointed to teachers as the source of their experience of discrimination (74%) or their peers (73%).
The survey also found that 54% of ethnic Indian respondents said they suffered verbal discrimination, followed by 40% who said they were denied access to opportunities because of their identity compared to other ethnic groups.
“The results of the survey has reflected very accurately what ethnic Indians have to go through,” said Pappa Raidu in a statement.
“Article 26(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights indicates that ‘Everybody has the option to schooling […] Technical and expert training will be made commonly accessible and advanced education will be similarly open to all based on merit’.
“By this declaration, are we following the suitable methods when distributing the seats to our students? Are there enough seats for all qualified students? If not, they should be built without any cost as I believe that investment in our people is the most important of all.”
According to Pappa Raidu, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ declaration goes against the existence of certain policies, especially in education.
“The world is progressively moving towards economic and scientific research but yet, here we are still battling for race- and religious-based quotas,” he pointed out.
Added Pappa Raidu, all Malaysians must unite under the roof of ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ without discriminating against race, religion, gender and social status.
“I am sure that this would lead to great success for the nation. As such, the Government, alongside parents must work side by side to make this new family culture a reality, and whoever goes against this vision must be penalised according to the country’s laws.”
Pappa Raidu further referred to how certain politicians are sparking racial and religious tension for their own political survival.
“I believe that the time has come for these ‘cheap’ politicians to be side-lined and sent to the Sungai Buloh ‘hotel’ to ‘rest’ – this must be the first action by the Government if they are sincere in building a ‘Keluarga Malaysia,” he justified. – Sept 17, 2021